It IS illegal….
And a method of voter suppression…
The Twenty-fourth Amendment (Amendment XXIV) of the United States Constitution prohibits both Congress and the states from conditioning the right to vote in federal elections on payment of a poll tax or other types of tax. The amendment was proposed by Congress to the states on August 27, 1962, and was ratified by the states on January 23, 1964…..
● Florida: On Friday, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower court rulingthat had struck down the Florida GOP’s modern-day poll tax, making it all but certain that the law will remain in effect for November.
Republicans passed their law last year after voters amended Florida’s constitution in 2018 to end lifetime voter disenfranchisement for up to 1.4 million people who had served out sentences for all but the most serious crimes. An expert witness for the plaintiffs estimated that 775,000 citizens would be unable to pay the poll tax, in large part because Florida levies onerous fines to fund its court system. The court noted, for instance, that one county charges a minimum of $668 for a public defender—and $548 even for defendants who forgo one. Furthermore, 43% of the disenfranchised are Black, roughly three times the African American share of the state’s overall adult population….
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, dominated by Republican-appointed circuit judges, approved a controversial statute that critics and lower courts repeatedly said amounted to a “poll tax” on formerly-incarcerated individuals. That law effectively overturned a constitutional amendment approved by a super-majority of Florida voters in 2018 that eliminated the Sunshine State’s Jim Crow-era ban on extending the franchise to people convicted of felony offenses.
Voting rights advocates appeared to have successfully ushered in a revolutionary change to Florida’s exclusionary voting system after the 2018 midterm elections. Some 65-percent of Floridians voted in favor of Amendment 4–which would have allowed roughly 1.5 million previously disenfranchised Floridians the right to vote. The popular measure affected roughly around 7-percent of Florida’s entire population, but disproportionately impacted the state’s African-American community for the better. Under the prior, 150-year-old system of disenfranchisement, nearly 20-percent of Florida’s Black population was denied the right to vote.
But the Florida GOP quickly sprung into action in order to limit and neuter the law’s otherwise massive impact on state politics….
The six judges in the [Federal Appeals Court] majority were appointed by either Trump or President George W. Bush. The four judges who dissented were appointed by either presidents Barack Obama or Bill Clinton.
The decision is expected to be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. But it virtually guarantees that the estimated 800,000 people with felony convictions in Florida who owe fines, fees or restitution to victims will not be allowed to vote in the November election….