Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY) called the bill a poll tax.
A poll tax by any other name… https://t.co/kY65PooPUM
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) March 19, 2019
Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) implied that the bill is unconstitutional.
The right to vote must NOT be contingent on someone's ability to pay fines or fees. Amendment XXIV of the Constitution states the right to vote shall not be denied or abridged by "failure to pay poll tax or other tax."https://t.co/IBSSnD4fWv
— Debbie Wasserman Schultz (@DWStweets) March 19, 2019
This view was shared by former federal prosecutor Renaldo Mariotti, who said the bill “seems constitutionally deficient.”
Yes, I meant "deficient." This is what I get for using my phone to type something quickly.
— Renato Mariotti (@renato_mariotti) March 19, 2019
Blowback has been fierce across the board.
A favorite pastime of the Florida Legislature is to thwart the will of voters who pass constitutional amendments, get the state sued and lose.
Here’s the start of a new chapter in that storied tradition https://t.co/rrxccbAd6h
— Marc Caputo (@MarcACaputo) March 20, 2019
The Florida government run exclusively by the @GOP continually finds ways to not follow the will of the people even when they overwhelmingly pass constitutional amendments. Disgraceful.
— Marty (@MartyOTW) March 20, 2019
And what else did we expect. Republican victories in Florida have been so thin that anything, like Amendment IV, can tip the balance. The @orlandosentinel reports that they are even broadening the definition of “sexual felonies” so that even more remain disenfranchised.
— Ed (@Ed_32801) March 20, 2019
— (((TheRReport))) (@TheRReport) March 20, 2019
Florida Democratic State Representative Adam Hattersley also called the GOP bill a poll tax.
“It’s not only targeting the poor and is targeting minorities, but it’s blatantly unconstitutional as a poll tax,” said Hattersley. “The will of the voters is clear, and this bill is trying to circumvent that.”
Republican James Grant, however, disagreed, chastising critics as “arrogant.”
“One of the things that was said today was that I had the near arrogance to present this bill. I’ll tell you what is near arrogance. Near arrogance is ignoring testimony in front of the Supreme Court,” Grant said. “Near arrogance is suggesting this is a poll tax. Members, to suggest that this is a poll tax inherently diminishes what a poll tax actually is.”