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Attorneys seek decision for felons before fall elections

July 5, 2019

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — As a group of felons challenge a new Florida law that requires them to pay all fines and fees before getting their voting rights restored, their attorneys say they need a court decision well before this fall’s off-year elections.

The attorneys said Friday during a telephone hearing, and earlier in court papers, that they need the federal court in Tallahassee to act before a voter registration deadline in October. Some Florida municipalities hold elections in November.

Last year, Florida voters approved Amendment 4, restoring voting rights for felons other than convicted murderers and sex offenders.

The language said felons must complete their sentences. Republican lawmakers interpreted that to include restitution, court costs, fines and fees imposed by a judge.

The felons and their lawyers say the new law is unconstitutional.

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