The State of Florida could be seeing a significant increase in a new voting group after several celebrities have paid the fines and apparently cleared the way for up to 13,000 felons to cast their votes in Tuesday’s election, according to a report.
LeBron James and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, are among those celebrities listed as having paid monies to the nonprofit Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRRC), the Tampa Bay Times reports. According to the paper, some $27 million in fines and fees have been paid.
The contributions from James and Bloomberg could, potentially, clear the way for 12,800 felons to become eligible voters. A review of the potential new voters found that 74 percent were black and 68 percent were registered Democrats.
The effort to register Florida felons comes two years after the state passed an amendment which restored voting rights to felons. The only barrier to those felons being able to resume their status as eligible voters, was the settling of legal fines and fees. A problem which has been solved to a large degree for nearly 13,000 of the state’s felons by donations from James, Bloomberg, and others who have contributed to the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition.
“We want communities to get better by having more voices heard, and the quicker people are able to be reintegrated into the community, the better,” said Neil Volz, deputy director of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition.
Contributions to the FRRC are not the only way in which James has sought to impact the current election cycle. The four-time NBA champion has also founded an organization called “More Than A Vote,” which seeks to address and combat what he perceives to be efforts at voter suppression against the black community.