- Daniel Caesar dons cape for whiteness—and gets canceled Wednesday 4:29 PM
- Triton is a new malware ‘deliberately’ designed to put lives at risk Wednesday 3:23 PM
- ‘Into the Dark: I’m Just F*cking with You’ is one of the series’ best Wednesday 1:54 PM
- Trump’s latest prop, a map of ISIS, gets memed Wednesday 12:54 PM
- HBO sends fans on a global scavenger hunt for 6 Iron Thrones Wednesday 11:51 AM
- The Awkward Family Photos game is Cards Against Humanity for meme lovers Wednesday 11:50 AM
- London firefighters’ organization accuses ‘Peppa Pig’ of sexism Wednesday 11:41 AM
- YouTuber accused of abusing her children to make kid-friendly content Wednesday 11:20 AM
- Ari Fleischer’s Iraq War tweet isn’t going over well Wednesday 10:54 AM
- Cop arrested for recording man’s genitals, forcing mentally ill man to twerk Wednesday 10:37 AM
- MoviePass rebrands its unlimited plan, again Wednesday 10:37 AM
- Former Alaska senator launches meme-filled 2020 primary campaign Wednesday 10:17 AM
- The Shane Dawson cat controversy has resulted in these sex memes Wednesday 10:06 AM
- Sarah Sanders mocks CNN reporter with ‘dear diary’ tweet Wednesday 9:03 AM
- Know what you’re signing up for thanks to these dating site reviews Wednesday 8:58 AM
Florida Republicans will tweet about anything but felons getting voting rights back
It’s a momentous day the GOP is ignoring.
Today, a voter disenfranchisement law with roots in the Jim Crow-era finally died in Florida. While Democrats around the state rejoiced, Republicans tweeted the equivalent of crickets.
In November, Floridians overwhelmingly ratified an amendment to the state constitution that automatically restores voting rights to people with felony convictions, other than murder and sex offenses, who have completed the terms of their sentence.
The law had permanently disenfranchised roughly 1.5 million people in the state, including more than one in five Black people. Today, upwards of 1.4 million of those people had their rights restored.
It was a very big day for civil rights in the nation’s largest swing state, where chads be dangling and elections are often decided by a fraction of a percent.
Democrats on Twitter were thrilled about an issue they’ve long supported.
This day is long overdue for millions of Floridians. Democrats will be working hard to expand the electorate in Florida and earn the support of these new voters. https://t.co/VihPpYG6wM
— Florida Democrats (@FlaDems) January 8, 2019
Dark chapter of Florida’s history was closed today with the enactment of #Amendment4 automatically restoring the voting rights of former felons – it’s about forgiveness and second chances. #FelonVotingRights pic.twitter.com/stmiHEZkRJ
— Rep. Charlie Crist (@RepCharlieCrist) January 8, 2019
This is what democracy looks like. https://t.co/6XSQAt2VHB
— Rep. Val Demings (@RepValDemings) January 8, 2019
Republicans on Twitter, meanwhile, focused on literally anything but rights restoration.
Incoming Sen. Rick Scott, who most recently served as Florida’s governor of voter suppression, tweeted about how thrilled he is to join Sen. Marco Rubio in the nation’s capital.
Thank you @marcorubio!
— Rick Scott (@ScottforFlorida) January 8, 2019
In addition to talking about Scott’s swearing-in ceremony, Rubio tweeted about Syria and, um, clapped back at Ted Nugent for saying that legislation he’d filed was proof that Rubio is in league with the Devil, writing, “Ted, I can assure you the Devil had no role in drafting my bill.”
Why? Because it’s Florida.
Ted, I can assure you the Devil had no role in drafting my bill.
Here are some facts in thread:
1. Your concern about “Hillary, Holder or Comey” are unnecessary. My bill doesn’t create a federal protection order it’s a grant program for states
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) January 8, 2019
Incoming Gov, Ron DeSantis, who opposed rights restoration and last month hemmed and hawed about how he might delay it as long as humanly possible, has lately had a lot to say on Twitter about his inauguration—but nothing about the 1.4 million Floridians getting their voting rights back, also today.
— Ron DeSantis (@RonDeSantisFL) January 8, 2019
And perhaps Florida’s most outspoken congressman, Matt Gaetz, didn’t have anything to add on the matter, not mentioning it on any of his feeds. Meanwhile, the Florida GOP kept itself busy tweeting about DeSantis’ inauguration.
— Florida GOP (@FloridaGOP) January 8, 2019
It’s almost like Republicans realize that the people whose votes they’ve spent decades suppressing might not be particularly inclined to vote for them.
And they don’t have much to say about that.
Claire Goforth is a Jacksonville, Florida-based journalist covering politics, culture, justice, and unicorns. Her work has appeared in publications ranging from regional alt-weeklies to Al Jazeera.