Former presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg just figured out a way to shoot President Trump’s chances of reelection in the foot. Because Bloomberg is a multibillionaire, he has a lot of money to throw around. He proved that when he invested tens of millions of dollars into his failed presidential campaign. Now, he has figured out a way to empower people previously prevented from voting in Florida by paying fines for tens of thousands of felons who had previously been blocked from voting because of money.
Florida is one state the blocks people who have gone through the correctional system from voting. Although these individuals served their time and are theoretically rehabilitated, Florida continues to deny them the right to participate in our democracy. That’s why Michael Bloomberg raised more than $16 million to help grant these rehabilitated individuals the chance to vote in the upcoming presidential election.
According to estimates from the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, Bloomberg raised enough money to grant 32,000 former felons the right to vote. That’s because the only thing that was holding them back from being able to step into the ballot box was a fine hanging over their head – even though they’d served the rest of their sentence.
“The right to vote is fundamental to our democracy, and no American should be denied that right,” a Bloomberg spokesperson told the news outlet. “Working together with the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, we are determined to end disenfranchisement and the discrimination that has always driven it.”
In general, the more people who turn up to the polls, the more likely a Democratic candidate is to get elected. Bloomberg understands this reality. Since Florida is one of the swing states that could easily go to former Vice President Joe Biden, Bloomberg wants to do what he can to make Florida more likely to get flooded by the Blue Wave.
Back in 2018, Florida opened itself up to the help of billionaires like Bloomberg when it changed its law. That was when Florida decided to let former felons cast their vote so long as those individuals paid everything they owed the government. These included fines, fees, and restitution – in some cases totaling in excess of $1,000. For anyone who has recently been released from prison, it can be very hard to find the money to pay a $1,000 fine just to buy the right to vote in the state.
Last week, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled to uphold the law. Once Bloomberg heard the news, he set out to use his massive wealth to empower former felons to vote.
Bloomberg is not alone in this effort. Other television networks agreed to follow in Bloomberg’s footsteps and donate money to help former felons pay their way into the voting box. If this effort continues, Florida will be far more likely to elect presidential nominee Joe Biden as the country’s forty-sixth president.
The Florida Attorney General has asked the FBI to look into Bloomberg’s efforts.
“I request that your agencies further investigate this matter and take appropriate steps as merited,” said Florida’s top law enforcement official.
What do you think about Bloomberg’s effort in Florida?