The Associated Press report afterwards Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis won a court victory to prevent criminals from voting until they pay off their debtsDemocratic billionaire and former presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg has been involved in an effort to raise more than $ 20 million On their behalf in order to allow them to vote.
This is in addition to the $ 100 million pledged by Bloomberg to help Biden win Florida.
A federal appeals court ruled on September 11 that in addition to serving their sentences, Florida criminals must pay all fines, damages, and legal fees before they can regain their right to vote. The issue could have wide ramifications for the November elections.
Under Amendment 4, which Florida voters passed by an overwhelming majority in 2018, the voting rights of criminals who completed their sentences would be restored. Then Republican lawmakers moved to define what it meant to complete the sentence.
In addition to the prison term, lawmakers have directed that all statutory financial obligations, including unpaid fines and compensation, must also be settled before the offender is eligible to vote.
With Bloomberg’s help, Florida Rights Reply Council Trying to make it happen. The group raised about $ 5 million before Bloomberg made calls to raise nearly another $ 17 million, according to Bloomberg consultants who were not allowed to speak to the AP because the announcement had yet to be made.
The money is for criminals who signed up to vote when the law was in question and who owed $ 1,500 or less. Bloomberg consultants say this represents about 31,100 people. In a state that decided the 2000 presidential election by 537 votes, that could be critical in a year when polls show that Trump and the former vice president Joe Biden In extreme heat.
The group’s organizers say they do not target people who are registered with a particular political party.
Desmond Meade, Group CEO, said, “To hell with politics, to hell with any other implications or conclusions, at the end of the day it is about real people, real lives, and American citizens who want to be a part of this.” “The voices of convicted people have been silenced. Crimes for a long time. “
The Florida Rights Redemption Board said other donors were John Legend, LeBron James, Michael Jordan, MTV, Comedy Central, VH1, Ben & Jerry, Levi Strauss & Co., Miami Dolphin, Orlando Magic, Miami Heat, and Steven Spielberg.