Felon re-enfranchisement statutes that condition the restoration of
voting rights on the payment of legal financial obligations have been
challenged under the Fourteenth and Twenty-Fourth Amendments to the
U.S. Constitution. To date, these challenges have been unsuccessful
because felons are not a protected class, disenfranchised felons do not
have a fundamental right to vote under existing case law, and these
financial obligations have not been categorized as unconstitutional poll
taxes. The most recent struggle to defeat a discriminatory felon re-enfranchisement statute is in Florida, where different advocacy groups
are attempting to defend the integrity of Amendment 4, the Voting Rights
Restoration Amendment. Amendment 4 promised to automatically
restore the voting rights of returning citizens (persons convicted of
felonies) upon the completion of their sentence, including probation and
parole. After Floridians overwhelmingly approved Amendment 4 in
2018, the Florida legislature passed Senate Bill 7066 (SB 7066), a statute
defining the completion of sentence as encompassing the full payment of
all court costs, fees, fines, and restitution. This Comment explores prior
legal challenges to financially discriminatory re-enfranchisement
schemes and the ongoing litigation over Amendment 4 and SB 7066.