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SPLC: Court Affirms Clients' Right to Vote Cannot be Conditioned on Wealth

ATLANTA – The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit issued a decision today in Kelvin Jones v. Governor of Florida, SPLC’s ongoing litigation against Florida’s modern-day poll tax. The following statement is from Nancy Abudu, Deputy Legal Director for the Southern Poverty Law Center:

“The Eleventh Circuit today affirmed what we knew all along: the right to vote of our clients, Rosemary McCoy and Sheila Singleton, cannot be conditioned on their wealth. Rosemary and Sheila are eager to participate in the 2020 primary election next month and cast their votes alongside their family and neighbors.  

“But not everyone will have the same opportunity. Floridians went to the polls in November 2018 thinking they were restoring the vote to 1.4 million of their fellow residents, only for the legislature to take that away from hundreds of thousands of people with an unconstitutional poll tax. Low-income Black women are disproportionately impacted by this law, and we will continue to fight on behalf of our clients and all Floridians who have been unconstitutionally denied their right to vote. We look forward to a trial in April to enter into the record additional evidence establishing the unconstitutionality of Florida lawmakers’ poll tax.”