Bloomberg Helps Cover Fines So Florida Felons Can Vote

He raises $16M, enough for 32K to get back on the voter rolls
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 22, 2020 12:05 PM CDT
Bloomberg Helps Cover Fines So Florida Felons Can Vote
Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, left, visits with Joe Biden at the National September 11 Memorial in New York on Sept. 11, 2020.   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Earlier this month, a federal court made it harder for felons in Florida to vote by upholding a law that stipulates they must first pay any outstanding fees or fines on their record. Now billionaire Michael Bloomberg is trying to make sure they can get to the polls after all. Bloomberg has raised more than $16 million, which, combined with $5 million from the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, should cover the fees of about 32,000 felons who owed less than $1,500 each, reports Axios. Singer John Legend also has contributed to the cause, notes Politico.

An estimated 775,000 felons in the state are believed to have outstanding court debts, and the AP notes that getting even a small percentage of them to the polls could make a difference in a state where 537 votes separated the presidential candidates in 2000. The development comes after Bloomberg previously pledged $100 million to help Joe Biden win the battleground state. (One of the federal judges on President Trump's short list for the Supreme Court is a member of the federal court that upheld the law on felons.)

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