Florida Republicans will tweet about anything but felons getting voting rights back

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Claire Goforth

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.