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Battleground Florida: Soros-Funded Groups Work to Register 1.4 Million Ex-Felons Ahead of 2020

by Aaron Klein

Progressive organizations, many financed by billionaire activist George Soros, are working overtime to restore voting rights for Florida’s nearly 1.4 million ex-felons as the nation’s biggest swing state seems poised to play a pivotal electoral role in the 2020 presidential race.

The current battle revolves around a Florida state amendment that was passed last year restoring voting rights for felons, with progressive groups opposing a local bill that would require the state’s ex-felons to first pay civil fines and court fees before registering to vote.

Florida’s Amendment Four was approved by voters during last year’s Midterm election.

The heavily Soros-funded American Civil Liberties Union and Brennan Center for Justice based in New York both served as consultants in drafting Amendment Four.

Soros’s Open Society Foundations donated $50 million to the ACLU. The Brennan Center has been the recipient of numerous grants from Soros’s Open Society Foundations totaling over $7,466,000 from 2000 to 2010 alone.

Desmond Meade, president of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, helped lead activism that put Florida’s Amendment Four on the ballot last year, including a news-making petition to restore voting rights to the released felons. His group is currently opposing efforts to require the former felons to pay their court fees prior to regaining their voting abilities.

“When I looked out of the plane, I said somewhere down there’s an imaginary line that divides Florida from Georgia. And it reminds me of the days of slavery when all a slave had to do was cross an imaginary line to get to freedom,” Meade said, comparing the ex-felon registration drive to the fight against slavery.

“And I said there is no way in hell in the 2000s should any American citizen have to escape another state to experience their freedom and their democracy.”

Meade’s official bio boasts that in his capacity at the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, he has “orchestrated the reorganization and incorporation of a coalition comprised of over 70 state and national organizations and individuals”

Meade’s coalition, formed to help the ex-felon voting efforts, is comprised of numerous Soros-financed activist organizations, including the ACLU, NAACP, PICO National Network, and the Florida chapter of the radical League of Women Voters.

Following the passage of Amendment Four, Representative James Grant authored the bill to guide the implementation of the amendment by helping to define criteria for the restoration of voting rights to the ex-felons. The legislation requires the former felons to pay their court fees and fines before being able to register to vote.

Grant’s bill passed the Florida House Subcommittee on Criminal Justice last month and could come to another vote as soon as this week.


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