Michael Bloomberg To Spend Millions To Help Florida Felons Pay Fines So They Can Vote

With 6 weeks to go until Election Day, and barely a month after Florida Republicans succeeded through the federal courts in preventing hundreds of thousands of the state’s felons from voting, billionaire former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg is putting his money where his mouth is, and has committed to raising millions of dollars to aid in helping ex-felons pay their now-mandated court penalties, and thus immediately regain their voting rights.

The former Democratic presidential candidate has helped raise more than $20 million so that felons who completed their prison sentences can vote in the presidential election. Bloomberg also has pledged $100 million to help Joe Biden win Florida.

“The right to vote is fundamental to our democracy and no American should be denied that right. Working together with the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, we are determined to end disenfranchisement and the discrimination that has always driven it,” Bloomberg said in a written statement.–ABC News

It was 2 years ago that about two thirds of Florida’s voters overwhelmingly approved Amendment 4, which restored the right to vote for more than 1.4 million ex-felons in the state–a large plurality of whom are Black.

But sensing what that could mean for their grip on power if over a million new mostly poor and non-White voter who have first hand experience with draconian Republican policies on criminal justice and other social concerns in Florida were suddenly allowed to vote, Republicans in the legislature, lead by Governor Ron Desantis, quickly flipped the script and rushed legislation that required felons to repay every fine and court fee they owed before they would be allowed to vote–thereby going even further than the law had required before Amendment 4.

As polls show a close race between Democratic former Vice President Joe Biden and President Donald Trump, every vote will count, and Democrats are hoping Bloomberg’s hefty financial push, which already exceeds $20 million, will galvanize thousands of ex-felons to not only get their voting rights back, but vote in the upcoming election.

Bloomberg’s moves could also pay dividends in 2022 as well, when Desantis is up for reelection.

Earlier this month, Bloomberg committed to spending $100 million to boost Biden in Florida.

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