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Amendment 4; Voting Rights for Felons

  

If you thought we could vote our way out of the messes that plague Florida and/or strip our God-given rights from us, you thought wrong. Even when we cast our votes, win our amendments … the elitists can still disregard the will of the people at whim. In November 2018, Florida voters approved Amendment 4, allowing convicted felons who complete all terms of their sentence, including parole or probation, the right to vote, except those convicted of murder or a felony sexual offense. Mind you, if you still believe in the validity of the Constitution of the “United” States, you may want to ask yourself where in this document would the limitations on such person or any person even be valid. 

Florida politicians have now decided to place what many are calling a “poll tax” upon felons wanting to vote. The 2019 bill would now include that felons must pay all court fees, fines and fully pay all restitution BEFORE they be allowed to vote. The fees and fines that felons are ordered to pay are wide-ranging but significantly high for an individual leaving prison, especially if they're unemployed, as most are. They can range from a couple of hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. To add more fuel to our fire, in Florida all the court charges that are unpaid after 90 days are referred to private debt collectors, who are allowed to add up to a 40% surcharge on the unpaid court debt. While Republicans argue that all monies should be paid prior to voting rights, Democrats and critics of this bill argue that it disenfranchises felons from voting and completely disregards the will of over 5 million Floridians who supported the statewide referendum last November. 


Let us remind you again that nowhere in the November 2018 elections, that WE THE PEOPLE voted on, mentioned any such restrictions. The people of Florida voted in a 64 percent supermajority to approve Amendment 4 as it was stated. The exact ballot summary language read: "This amendment restores the voting rights of Floridians with felony convictions after they complete all terms of their sentence including parole or probation. The amendment would not apply to those convicted of murder or sexual offenses, who would continue to be permanently barred from voting unless the Governor and Cabinet vote to restore their voting rights on a case by case basis."


Until 2018, Florida was one of four states—the three others are Iowa, Kentucky, and Virginia—where convicted felons did not regain the right to vote, until and unless a state officer or board restores an individual's voting rights. Of the 50 states, two states—Maine and Vermont—do not rescind the right to vote for convicted felons, allowing them to vote while incarcerated; 14 states and Washington, D.C., restore voting rights upon completion of a prison sentence; four states restore voting rights upon completion of prison and parole time; 19 states restore the right to vote after prison time, parole, and probation are completed; and seven states have systems where certain felons, based on the type or number of crimes committed, regain the right to vote. Florida will be, when Governor DeSantis signs this bill, will be the only state in the “union” that requires felons to pay all court fees, fines and restitution before the God-given right to vote is restored. 


Floridians, men and women alike .. should be appalled but not surprised by the government’s abuses against the citizens of our state. These affronts to our liberty are expected consequences of putting all of our eggs in the basket of a leviathan government to secure so-called financial and social justice on our behalf. Sadly, the U.S. Constitution will not and has not protect us from such abuses; nor will these politicians we put into office. 


The common law rights, which we were told the Bill of Rights aimed to protect, have been eroded or abrogated, and what rights remain live on in mortal peril. Our efforts at liberty, freedom and self-rule are stymied at every turn by government legislation, regulation and politically correct commandments.


“The States”, in the words of James Madison, “are in duty bound, to interpose for arresting the progress of the evil”. So, what do we as citizen do when the voices of the people are shushed by corrupt politicians? It is clear that “majority vote” are just words as the definition can be redefined for any reason, given or not.  


Floridians must stand up and fight for our liberties that are being assaulted almost daily. This must be our chief principle action. Either we do something now, or leave our children and their families to fight our battles. The choice is all of ours. 


~The Siren of the Shenandoah










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