Politics

Bloomberg Raises Millions To Help Florida Felons Vote

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Just days after after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis won a court victory to keep felons from voting until they’ve paid off fines, restitution and court fees, billionaire Mike Bloomberg has stepped in to help them pay off the debts.

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.

A federal appellate court ruled on Sept. 11 that in addition to serving their sentences, Florida felons must pay all fines, restitution and legal fees before they can regain their right to vote. The case could have broad implications for the November elections. Florida has 29 electoral college votes that are crucial to President Donald Trump’s hopes of staying in the White House.

Under Amendment 4, which Florida voters passed overwhelmingly in 2018, felons who have completed their sentences would have voting rights restored. Republican lawmakers then moved to define what it means to complete a sentence.

In addition to … (Read more)

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