Jeff was recently featured in the New York Times, discussing how Florida laws have affected his ability to vote after facing a felony conviction over 10 years ago. In our blog post, Jeff tells us us about his experience.
"I wanted to talk a little about the New York Times article I was recently in. I became disenfranchised at a very young age long before I cared about having a voice in my community and world that I inhabit. I was living for no one but myself at the time and that put me at odds with society as a whole. I was arrested several times until finally they'd had enough and slapped the felon mark upon me. I have spent the last 10 years of my life dedicating my life to the improvement of myself and the community that I wanted no part of as a young man. That being said, my behavior of what seems like another life followed me in the form of court debt. I had paid so much money back, but there was still this last hurdle that was lingering. Then Amendment 4 came up on the ballot in 2018, I was so excited when it passed that I registered the day after not knowing it would take time to enact. Once I did become registered I was fortunate enough to vote in a local election for the first time in my life! But the Amendment was challenged, and I was connected to the ACLU to see if I was willing to fight the new senate bill that essentially was a poll tax. I vehemently agreed and spent the last year or so fighting for not only my right to vote, but all other folks in my position."
Since the New York Times article, Jeff has had his fines paid-and those of others in similar situations as him-through a GoFundMe page started by a colleague.
New York Times article featuring Jeff:
How Republicans Undermined Ex Felon Voting Rights in Florida
Sun Sentinel article featuring Jeff:
Florida doesnt want him to vote because he owes $801 | Steve Bousquet