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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

67,000 people registered to vote after Florida restored voting rights to most felons in a 2018 ballot initiative, Politico reports.

Why it matters: Election results in the battleground state — which previously instituted a lifetime voting ban for people with felony convictions — could come down to these 67,000 votes. But the number still falls well short of the 1.4 million people that community organizers hoped to register.

The big picture: In 2018, shortly after voters said yes to the Amendment 4 ballot initiative, GOP legislators passed a law requiring people with felonies to pay off all outstanding court debts before they can vote. Activists challenged the law, but the Supreme Court declined to intervene over the summer.

  • A University of Florida study found that nearly 775,000 people eligible to vote under Amendment 4 owed court debts.
  • Critics called the GOP law a “modern-day poll tax.” Black Americans are disproportionately overrepresented in prisons.

What they’re saying: "There is no doubt in my mind that there are thousands upon thousands of energized and inspired returning citizens throughout the state that will not be denied, that will be a voice, and will have an impact in determining who wins Florida,” Desmond Meade, executive director of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, told reporters on Monday.

Go deeper: Restoring the vote to Americans with felony records

Go deeper

Voter suppression then and now

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Barry Lewis/Getty Images 

From its start, the United States gave citizens the right to vote — as long as they were white men who owned property. From counting a slave as 3/5 of a white man to the creation of the Electoral College, there's a through-line of barriers that extends to today based on racial politics.

Why it matters: 150 years after the 15th Amendment — and 55 years after the passage of the Voting Rights Act — people of color still face systemic obstacles to voting.

Axios-Ipsos poll: Voters of color worry about militias, arrests

Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Note: ±2.6% margin of error; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

Fears that armed militias, police or COVID-19 await them at the polls are disproportionately shaping how Americans of color think about in-person voting, according to an Ipsos poll for Axios.

Why it matters: Participation by voters of color could decide whether President Trump or Joe Biden wins, and whether Democrats take control of both chambers of Congress.

How racial politics still suppress the vote

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Jeremy Hogan (SOPA Image), Noam Galai (WireImage)/Getty Images

Laws restricting voting are less overt than in the days of segregation. But many impediments — some subtle, some blatant — remain for Americans of color.

The big picture: That's changing at this very moment — slowly, and very unevenly.