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Florida officials appeal ruling on felon voting rights

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Posted at 3:16 PM, Nov 15, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida officials are appealing a federal judge’s ruling last month that opened the way for some felons to regain their voting rights despite being unable to settle unpaid fines and other legal debts.

The move by Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday follows last week’s hearing before the Florida Supreme Court seeking clarity over Amendment 4, the voter-approved measure that returned voting rights to felons who have completed their sentences.

At question is whether the payment of fines and other fees is required before a sentence can be deemed complete, as the Republican-controlled Legislature asserted in a bill later signed by DeSantis.

Last month, a federal judge ruled that Florida must give back the right to vote to felons who challenged the law and cannot afford to pay their fines.