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Reaction after Gov. DeSantis signs law requiring ex-felons pay financial fees

Posted at 7:07 PM, Jul 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-02 05:06:32-04

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla.  — Business owner Derrick McCray says he couldn't vote for 10 years. He's an ex-felon and says he made restitution, which enabled him to vote back in March.

He doesn't agree with the recent bill Gov. Ron DeSantis signed requiring ex-felons who served prison time to pay any outstanding fees before they can vote.

"It shouldn't be where you did all of this time and now you are trying to come up with something else to restrict the vote and it's basically mostly people of color that get dis-enfranchised."

Last November, Florida voters approved allowing ex-felons to vote once their prison time is done, except those convicted of murder or sexual assault.

This new bill means ex-felons have to pay their bills before heading to the polls.

Sid Dinerstein is with the Republican Party of Palm Beach County.

"If there are people like the ACLU, who think there are some people who get disenfranchised because they can't do that, help them out," said Dinerstein.

He says the victims shouldn't be forgotten.

"There are many felons who get convicted who serve no jail time because of the nature of the offense, but there are still losses for victims or court costs. The idea is to get people to vote and to get victims and society repaid and this bill does both."

For McCray, it’s about sharing his story of hope.

“I was blessed to have a great family structure that helped me to get my life back together,” he said.