Politics

Bloomberg Raises Millions To Fight Florida Voting Law, Helps Pay Former Felons Legal Fees

rblfmr/Shutterstock

Adam Barnes Contributor
Font Size:

Former Democratic presidential candidate and billionaire Mike Bloomberg helped raise millions to fight a Florida law that prohibits former felons from voting until all legal fees are paid.

Bloomberg’s nearly $17 million contribution to the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition gives the group over $20 million to restore the franchise of 32,000 felons before the Nov. 3 election, according to the Associated Press. Bloomberg had already dumped nearly $100 million into the Florida race. (RELATED: Bloomberg Pledges At Least $100M To Help Biden Win Florida)

“Working together with the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, we are determined to end disenfranchisement and the discrimination that has always driven it,” Bloomberg’s spokesperson said.

The news comes after a  6-4 ruling from the panel of 10 judges on a federal appeals court reversed a lower-court ruling that granted voting eligibility to Florida felons despite any remaining expenses. (RELATED: Florida Felons To Repay Fines And Fees Before Voting, Court Rules)

“Florida withholds the franchise from any felon, regardless of wealth, who has failed to complete any term of his criminal sentence—financial or otherwise,” the majority wrote.

“Working together with the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, we are determined to end disenfranchisement and the discrimination that has always driven it,” Bloomberg’s spokesperson said.

Organizers say the money is for felons who registered to vote before the recent court decision and owe less than $1,500, the AP reported. They also said their motivation is apolitical.

“To hell with politics, to hell with any other implications or insinuations, at the end of the day it’s about real people, real lives, American citizens who want to be a part of this,” said Desmond Meade, the group’s executive director, per the report. “People with felony convictions have had their voices silenced for so long.”

John Legend, LeBron James, Michael Jordan and other celebrities joined Bloomberg in donating to the cause, according to the report.