Mail voting has already started in Florida, and in-person early voting starts on Monday. The Trump campaign is blitzing the state, an absolute must-win for Donald. And Florida Republicans are ramping up the voter suppression, again targeting the people with past felony convictions whose right to vote had been restored by the state’s voters in 2018’s Amendment 4.
Republican lawmakers subsequently imposed a poll tax on those returning citizens, saying they could not vote until they had paid off all fines and court fees. Now, state elections officials are telling local elections officials to get ready to strip people of their voter registration, with a plan to send the local officials information on voters “whose potential ineligibility is based on not having satisfied the legal financial obligations of their sentence.”
More than 2 million people have already voted, which could conceivably include some who did so not knowing they hadn’t fully paid their poll tax—information on how much any person owed has been hard to pin down in many cases. Given its commitment to throwing doubt on the results of a potential Trump loss, there’s reason to believe the Trump campaign would use the confusion created by the constantly changing policies of Republican voter suppression to delegitimize Florida’s results—all too plausibly with the help of state officials.
One local official said that getting this direction to remove people from the voter rolls this close to the election, with voting already underway, was “problematic, especially during one of the most scrutinized elections ever.”
He’s waiting to find out how many voters the state Division of Elections will tell him to purge. “Are we going to get these next week? Am I getting a hundred or a thousand?” he said. “It’s a little disappointing, as you might imagine.”
That, by the way, is Brian Corley, a Republican from Pasco County.
“Plain and simple: this is voter suppression,” a Biden campaign spokesperson told Politico. “For the past two years, we’ve seen Florida Republicans do everything in their power to defy the will of the overwhelming majority of Florida voters who cast their ballot in favor of Amendment 4. And here they go again.” This time it’s in service not just of preventing people from voting but of Donald Trump’s desire to cast doubt on election results if he loses.