Florida Republicans banned old felons from voting if they had outstanding fines. Wealthy Dems just paid off 32,000 accounts

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/09/23/florida-republicans-banned-old-felons-from-voting-if-they-had-outstanding-fines-wealthy-dems-just-paid-off-32000-accounts.html




I’m still trying to figure out how this isn’t a poll tax. :face_with_monocle:


Aside from those with their fines paid off being able to vote, which is amazing, they also receive the added bonus of getting the boot of the Florida incarceration system off their neck and hopefully having some spare money to spend on more important and/or more enjoyable things.


Because they say it isn’t. It’s one of the cornerstones of the Repugnacan playbook: Take an old concept that’s been declared unconstitutional, modify it slightly, and claim it’s totally different. It takes years to be struck down by courts as being the same thing, but the targeted groups have continued to be suppressed during those years. Lather, rinse, repeat.



They also like to think of “entitlements” like welfare/food stamps/medicaid/social security as a form of bribery, to get people to vote for Democrats.

Yet they don’t also see Trump stimulus payouts as bribery.



How many members of Trump’s inner circle are convicted felons now? I honestly can’t keep track.


So if a Republican tried to buy votes that would not be OK, right? Why is it OK for DEMS?

Is this what you have to do to earn that license?


I keep telling my Republican friends that the difference between the parties is that the GOP has zero interest in helping YOU the voter. They only care about helping themselves. IF you benefit from something it was only coincidental to them benefiting more. and the fact is however much you may benefit, the GOP benefits exponentially more. Conversely the DEMS actually want to help people.

OFC I get told that’s bullshit…yet here we are with another perfect example of the practice in action. GOP punishing voters, DEMs helping them. If you think the GOP is only doing this because these are former felons…nope, they would do it to anyone if given the chance.


it’s the rule they decided upon blowing up in their faces.

What the fuck are you folks on about? It’s great that this barrier to voting that the Republicans created is less impermeable than they’d hoped. But it’s still a problem (What fraction of disenfranchised felons do these 32,000 represent? What happens to future victims?). And you’re posting victory cries implying that it’s now a problem for the Republicans. No, it’s still a problem for Democrats, and for democracy. I shouldn’t have to explain this.


The program itself is nonpartisan. Republican-leaning former felons can get their fines paid off this way just as easily as Democratic-leaning former felons can.


Yeah, there’s no way this is a ‘win’. It doesn’t even help a large portion of the affected voter base. Sure, the republicans are mad that it helps anybody who isn’t a republican, or that their poll tax scheme has a loophole (the tax can be paid by anybody, for any reason). But it’s still a poll tax, which makes it still an affront to democracy.


If a Republican wants to pay off fines or poll taxes that stop people from voting, then that’s fine by me. It’s the disenfranchisement that is the greater evil.


So it’s your position that until conservatives have been broken on the wheel, their works thrown down and their children put to the sword, there shall be no pleasure taken when they are handed small defeats?

Duly noted.


Scroll up; these people should have been able to vote in the first place.

The Democrats Did The Right Thing. The ability to vote is a key freedom, hard won for some groups, and every citizen should be able to do it regardless of who they vote for.

Are you against that?


I think the (more or less delicious, YMMV) irony here is that banning felons from voting was a calculated attack on Democratic votes, and now Republicans are whining because Democrats noticed.

You’re certainly right that it would be better for the Dems for the ban to be repealed altogether.


Step 1: Take this to Federal District Court (bypass the state) and apply for a Temporary Restraining Order valid until Wednesday November 4th (day after the election) enjoining the state from this granular enforcement action (who and how these fines are paid, as long as the source itself isn’t from legal proceeds.)

Step 2: Make the claim that this is a poll tax (in violation of the 24th Amendment) and that if it is a mere fine, fines are intended for revenue and not for punishment, and especially not in contravention of the 24th Amendment.

Step 3: Include all legislators that have voted for this in the lawsuit, and not just “State of Florida” as co-conspirators in civil rights violations and voter suppression.


That’s a great question, so here are some answers:

First of all, no one is buying votes. Nothing in this situation involves an exchange of votes for money.

Second, and this is important for election law, Bloomberg et al did this without coordinating with any campaign. For example, absolutely nothing prevents Charles Koch or Peter Thiel from buying a car for every family in Republican-leaning states if they wanted to. Go for it, Republican billionaires! Start writing checks to pay off people’s past-due rent or electric bills, and drop off bags of groceries at every house with food insecurity. I promise, no one will stop you.


This is great. I’m glad they did this, and I’m especially glad that they announced it, and targetted certain demographic of voters, and ANNOUNCED that they specifically targetted likely Biden voters.

The same way the Republicans targetted certain voters to disenfranchise to get Bush the election in 2000.

Fuck you, GOP, you’ve played this kind of shit for 40 years, it’s time you get some of your own medicine.