Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern, one of the best reporters covering legal and LGBT questions, takes a closer look at the State with the Prettiest Name’s ongoing voter suppression project. Despite the passage with overwhelming support of Amendment 4 in 2018, my state legislature, readers may recall, passed a bill last May with devastating caveats: you can vote so long as you pay all fees.
I noted last November how these developments have unfolded in Miami-Dade County. Here we are:
There is little doubt that GOP legislators opposed the amendment because they feared it would disproportionately enfranchise Democrats. But their bill has led to a bizarre system in which Democratic counties are reenfranchising their voters while Republican-majority counties are not. Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, and Hillsborough all overwhelmingly supported Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump in 2016. They are Democratic strongholds in a state with notoriously close elections. In 2016, Trump beat Clinton by about 113,000 votes. Meanwhile, Miami-Dade hopes to grant about 150,000 former felons the right to vote. The reenfranchisement of hundreds of thousands of voters in primarily Democratic counties may very well swing the 2020 election.
Rick Scott and Ron DeSantis barely won election to the Senate and governorship, respectively. Nibbling at vote totals like re-enfranchising would do would seriously impair Donald Trump’s reelection in the most erratic of swing states. The stupidity of the state legislature is clear: god knows how many white GOP-leaning voters it has kept disenfranchised! As awful as this looks for the red counties of Florida, these margins might be enough to tilt the state blue in 2020, and these dumbfuck GOP legislators are just dumbfuck enough not to realize what they may have done.