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State Attorney to use community service as option to restore voting rights

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The group responsible for getting the felons voting rights amendment on the ballot has announced they are working to pay off the fines, fees and restitution owed by an estimated 500,000 felons in Florida.

Meanwhile, Hillsborough County’s State Attorney Andrew Warren has a plan to tackle the issue as well.

He intends to convert some felon’s fees and fines into community service hours. Felons convicted of murder or sex crimes will not be a part of it.

FILE – In this Nov. 6, 2018 file photo, a voter fills out a ballot at a polling place at Lake Shore Elementary School, in Pasadena, Md. A new survey finds that more than 120 million Americans cast ballots in the 2018 midterm elections, with turnout surging in some states to that of a typical presidential year. The 2018 Election Administration and Voting Survey was released Thursday, June 27, 2019, by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

“Our goal here is to make sure we don’t have two classes of citizens… people who can afford the right to vote and people who can’t,” Warren said. “So for people who are in financial hardship, who aren’t able to afford those fines and fees, who will never pay them, we want to convert them to community service.”

The Southern Poverty Law Center filed the latest of four lawsuits on behalf of two women in Jacksonville.

But even with the financial obligations, it’s estimated more than 800,000 felons are eligible to vote, because of Amendment 4.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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