PANAMA CITY — The League of Women Voters has launched a training program for attorneys and non-lawyer volunteers to “assist returning citizens avoid penalties when they register to vote” and will be in Panama City on Saturday for anyone interested.
A news release from the organization said the idea is to “minimize the impact” of SB 7066 on Amendment 4, which restored the voting rights of those with a felony conviction, excluding murder or felony sex offenses. The League said that the passage of SB 7066, however, restricts the ability of returning citizens to register to vote. And that disproportionately affects African-Americans, the release said.
If signed, the proposed law will take effect July 1.
The Florida Bar has approved the training for two Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credit hours and accreditation from the American Bar Association is pending. Lawyers and others seeking to take the training can sign up at: bit.ly/implementationcle
In addition to seeking volunteer lawyers for this effort, the league is seeking information about community events (job fairs, community Juneteenth celebrations, etc.) that returning citizens might be likely to attend. Clinics would be set up before the events to train lawyers to help returning citizens.
Saturday’s voter registration event will allow lawyers who receive the CLE training to assist in researching the status of people’s sentences here. For more information, contact League Rights Restoration Chairwoman Cecile Scoon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lawyer training Saturday in Panama City will begin at 10 a.m. at the law offices of Peters & Scoon, 25 E. Eighth St. It will be followed by a Turn Your Life Around After Incarceration for the community to receive assistance at 1 p.m. at Daffin Park, 320 N. Kraft Ave.
Finally, a Rutherford High School family fun day and cookout for the community will be held from 4-7 p.m. at 1000 School Ave.