Tuesday, September 15, 2020

End the Poll Tax

My friend Stefan Hagemann has created a GoFundMe project, End the Poll Tax. His goal — and why not? — is to raise $50,000 to pay fines and fees owed by Florida ex-felons. From Stefan’s description:

According to CNN, “Florida can bar ex-felons from voting if they owe court fines or fees associated with their convictions, even if they are unable to pay, a federal appeals court ruled Friday.

“The 6-4 ruling by the full 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower court’s ruling blocking the law.”

This decision affects more than 700,000 former felons, many of whom can not afford to pay fees and penalties averaging between $400.00 and $1000.00. Contrary to the Appeals court decision, this is evidently an updated version of the poll tax. The District Court judge who originally ruled in favor of former felons called the effort to force payment an “unconstitutional pay-to-vote system.”
Please consider making a contribution to Stefan’s counter-effort.

On a related note, the website Restore Your Vote should be helpful for anyone with a felony conviction, anywhere, who wants to vote. Let People Vote and Vote.org are helpful sites for anyone, anywhere, who wants to vote.

comments: 2

Stefan said...

Thank you so much, Michael. I think that your post has really helped, because the fund has received a number of very generous donations. We're up over $1000 already, which is about ten times the amount that I thought I'd get and 1/50th of the goal. I had no idea what to expect when I started this, but now I'm amazed and excited.

Michael Leddy said...

I dunno — I hope so. And it hope the total keeps going up.