With the November election just months away, Democrats are working overtime to find new ways to get more people to vote. They have mounted new crusades, recently, to get people to vote who have traditionally been disqualified.
In Florida, there was a situation that would allow nearly 1 million felons to register to vote. These felons have finished their sentences, but have not paid back what they owe. A lower court upheld this restriction, forcing advocates to take it to the Supreme Court.
But the Supreme Court denies voting rights to these felons:
The Supreme Court on Thursday let stand a lower court ruling that could strip voting eligibility from up to 1 million Florida felons who have completed their sentences but have yet to pay outstanding fines, restitution and other fees.
In an unsigned opinion, the conservative-majority court declined to revisit a federal appeals court ruling that permits Florida to stop felons with outstanding court-imposed debt from registering to vote as a July 20 primary election registration deadline approaches.
Allowing convicted felons the right to vote has been met with much controversy. Some say these are American citizens being denied a fundamental right. Others say that because they committed a crime serious enough to be incarcerated, they have given up their right to vote.
Conservatives often accuse Democrats of trying to get felons to vote, saying they are urged to vote for liberal candidates. Democrats accuse conservatives of implementing voter suppression, by not letting felons vote.
In the case of this Florida law, felons that have paid back fines and other fees can register. The only ones ineligible are ones who have yet to pay outstanding fines and restitution. These are part of their sentencing, just as much as prison time.
To allow them to vote appears to be letting them off the hook. According to reports, there are roughly one million former felons in the state of Florida who have yet to pay back what they owe. This appears to be less about “voter suppression” and more about getting people to finish their debt to society.
The three liberal justices, Sonia Sotomayor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Elena Kagan, dissented the decision. This shows how deeply dividing this issue is among conservatives and liberals.
The question of whether felons should vote might have to be left up to American citizens. Should someone be allowed to vote—even if they are still under penalties of law?
- The Supreme Court rejected a law that would allow felons to register to vote in Florida.
- Nearly 1 million felons would have been affected—those who have yet to pay off outstanding debts.
- All three liberal justices dissented from the majority ruling.
Source: The Hill