Gruver v. Barton (consolidated with Jones v. DeSantis)

Voting with a Felony Conviction in FL

Date Filed: 06/02/2020

On May 24, 2020, the federal district court issued a 125-page decision, based on a 10,000-page record, following an eight-day trial in the consolidated case Jones, et al. v. DeSantis, et al. Jones is a lawsuit challenging provisions within Senate Bill 7066 of 2019 (“SB7066”) that require people with felony convictions to pay “fines,” “fees,” “costs,” and/or “restitution” (collectively, legal financial obligations or “LFOs”) to vote. In the trial court decision, the court ruled that aspects of this “pay-to-vote system” are unconstitutional under the Fourteenth and Twenty-Fourth Amendments and violates the National Voter Registration Act (“NVRA”).

7/1/2020 UPDATE: Unfortunately, the district court decision has been stayed while an appeal of the case in pending.

11/11/2020 UPDATE: In a devastating opinion, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals reached a decision that permits Florida officials to require returning citizens to pay LFOs that arise from a felony convictions before they can register and vote. 

Until any subsequent appeals are resolved, we are sure that Florida residents have lingering questions about registering to vote and heading to the polls. To help, we have co-developed a resource with our partners to explain the Eleventh Circuit decision and what it means for the voting rights of people with felony convictions in Florida.

Please continue to check here for further updates.

Learn more about LDF’s voting rights work and political participation cases.