NewsLocal NewsI-Team Investigations

Actions

Felon voting rights virtual trial expected to wrap Wednesday

Will determine whether all fines must be paid to vote
voting-vote-ballot-election-votes
Posted at 4:34 PM, May 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-05 18:24:14-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- An ongoing federal trial will decide whether Florida felons must pay off all court fines and fees before they can vote.

The trial will determine the voting rights of more than a million people in Florida leading up to the November election.

FELON VOTING RIGHTS: Trial underway to determine whether ex-felons must pay off court fines, fees before casting ballot

The trial is being conducted virtually, via conference call, and is expected to wrap up Wednesday.

Florida can't bar felons from vote over fines, fees

The I-Team asked for permission to record audio for the trial, but the federal court in Tallahassee said no.

“The policy of the Judicial Conference is that proceedings in Federal Court are not to be recorded. The court requests that you abide by the policy,” the court said.

Should former felons be forced to pay old court debts before having voting rights restored?

But Supreme Court hearings are already being recorded.

On Monday, C-SPAN shared the audio of oral arguments in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office v. Booking.com case.

The battle is over whether Booking.com can trademark its name.

Bigger picture -- the case marks a groundbreaking shift for the nation’s highest court, by allowing people to listen in remotely for the the first time.

In Florida, federal judges haven’t quite caught up to the Supreme Court.

Closing arguments are set for Wednesday morning before the case is turned over the judge for a final decision.