Bloomberg raises $ 16 million to pay the fines of 30,000 ex-convicts and allow them to vote in Florida

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The largest pendulum state is one of the key races of the presidential elections on November 3

A month and a half before the elections in the United States, Michael Bloomberg has his chips in Florida. And the chips of one of the richest men on the planet, they weigh. In addition to the 100 million dollars that he will inject into Joe Biden’s presidential campaign in the southern territory, the former Democratic candidate now leads a millionaire fundraiser to pay off the debts of the exreos and thus regain their right to vote. Bloomberg and his team have raised more than $ 16 million to pay court fines for 31,000 people, mainly African Americans. The largest pendulum state, with 29 of the 270 electoral votes required to reach the White House, is one of the key races of the November 3 elections.

About 775,000 Floridians who have already served their time in jail will not be able to vote due to outstanding fines. A few days ago, the Florida Rights Restitution Coalition, a nonpartisan organization that is dedicated to raising money to settle the bills of ex-convicts, had raised about $ 7 million. However, this week, the number soared. They received a donation of 16 million, raised by Bloomberg and his team. “The right to vote is fundamental to our democracy and no American should be denied that right,” said the former mayor of New York in a statement. His advisers claimed that he raised money from individuals and foundations during the past week.

In order to maximize resources, the pro-voting organization only pays the debts of those who owe less than $ 1,500 and are already registered to vote. With the money collected so far, about 31,100 people will benefit. The 2000 presidential elections were defined in Florida by 537 votes, so what has been achieved so far is not anecdotal. In a memorandum accessed by The Washington Post, Bloomberg details that more than 25,000 people to whom the debt will be paid are African-American. In the last elections, Florida, which gave Trump the victory, 84% of blacks voted for the Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton. The prison population of the community is almost 50%, when they represent 17% of the inhabitants of the State.

At the end of July, when Florida was going through the peak of coronavirus cases and deaths, Democrat Joe Biden was more than eight percentage points ahead of Trump, according to the average of RealClearPolitics polls. The difference between the two has been narrowing until now they are barely separated by 1.6 points. The memo cited by the Post indicates that Biden is failing worse among Cuban-American voters than Hillary Clinton, while looking better positioned among Latinos, a strong community in the state.

In 2018, Florida passed a constitutional amendment at the polls that allowed criminals – regardless of rapists or murderers – to regain the right to vote once they had served their sentence. But last year, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis pushed through a bill that made it a condition that former inmates have paid the fines and restitutions associated with their case. The legal battle between advocates of the right to vote and Republicans reached the Supreme Court, which in mid-July ruled that DeSantis’s measure was not unconstitutional.

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