Arguments are under way in a federal hearing challenging a bill adopted this year by the Florida Legislature that will limit Amendment 4. Remember Amendment 4, the Voting Restoration Amendment? It restored the voting rights of Floridians with felony convictions after they had completed all sentence terms. And it passed in Florida last year (the people have spoken). Well, now, this new bill is making a mess of everything Amendment 4 set out to do. The bill requires former felons to pay back all fees and court fines before being considered eligible to vote. But determining these payments isn’t that straightforward – for example, no agency in Florida tracks restitution, so lots of people have no idea how much they owe, especially if their cases are older (a number of county clerks’ offices aren’t able to produce records for cases before 1990). And, what do you do if the FL Department of Law Enforcement’s criminal database may show you owe nothing, but the county clerk’s website shows you owe thousands of dollars? Because this is what’s happening to so many folk in Florida. If this sounds like a type of poll tax, it..is. This law seems designed to instill fear and keep eligible voters away from the polls, and it’s doing just that.