Apr 25, 2019

Florida House passes bill requiring former felons to pay before voting

Voting rights advocates in Florida at the Orange County Supervisor of Elections office. Photo: Phelan M. Ebenhack for The Washington Post via Getty Images

Florida's GOP-controlled House passed a measure along party lines on Wednesday requiring former felons to pay fees and fines before having their voting rights restored, resulting in backlash from voting rights advocates who say it undermines a voter-approved constitutional amendment that allows an estimated 1.4 million former felons to vote again.

Details: The measure, now in the Senate, calls for court fines, fees and restitution to be paid before ex-felons, who've completed their sentences, can vote. According to the Miami Herald, the Senate’s version of the bill only requires restitution to be paid, "but not court fees and fines if those have been converted to a civil lien, which often happens." Nonetheless, any restrictions would prevent thousands from voting.

The backdrop: After Floridians overwhelmingly approved the constitutional amendment last year, only Iowa and Kentucky remained as states that permanently prohibit ex-felons from voting, unless the governors of those states approves a clemency plea. The ballot measure, which took effect in January, did not apply to those convicted of murder or sex crimes.

State Republican lawmakers quickly proposed measures they argue would provide clarification because ex-felons should repay all fines and fees connected to their sentences.

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Updated 41 mins ago - Technology

Twitter: Trump's Minnesota tweet violated rules on violence

Twitter said Friday morning that a tweet from President Trump in which he threatened shooting in response to civil unrest in Minneapolis violated the company's rules. The company said it was leaving the tweet up in the public interest.

Why it matters: The move exacerbates tensions between Twitter and Trump over the company's authority to label or limit his speech and, conversely, the president's authority to dictate rules for a private company.

Updated 55 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump threatens to "assume control" of Minneapolis over unrest

Flames from a nearby fire illuminate protesters standing on a barricade in front of the Third Police Precinct in Minneapolis on Thursday. Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump threatened via Twitter early Friday to send the national guard to Minneapolis following three days of massive demonstrations and unrest in the city over George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody this week.

Details: "I can’t stand back & watch this happen to a great American City, Minneapolis. A total lack of leadership. Either the very weak Radical Left Mayor, Jacob Frey, get his act together and bring the City under control, or I will send in the National Guard & get the job done right," Trump tweeted after a police station was torched by some protesters.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

In photos: Protests over George Floyd's death grip Minneapolis

Protesters cheer as the Third Police Precinct burns behind them on in Minneapolis on Thursday night. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Cheering protesters set a Minneapolis police station on fire Thursday night in the third night of unrest following the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody in the city, per AP.

The state of play: Minnesota's governor on Thursday activated the state's national guard following violent outbreaks throughout the week, as the nation waits to see if the officers involved will be charged with murder.