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Michael Bloomberg donates $16 million to convicted Florida felons so they can vote

His donation has already helped pay the fines of 32,000 people.

Michael Bloomberg Getty Images

As the 2020 presidential election draws near, celebrities are urging everyone to cast their ballots and are doing their part to ensure all votes actually count. Voter registration drives have been thrown, informational posts have been spread and in Michael Bloomberg’s case, the fines of felons have been paid to ensure they’ll be able to choose their desired president.

Bloomberg reportedly pledged $16 million to the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition which helped pay off the fines of 32,000 convicted felons and restored their right to vote.

“The right to vote is fundamental to our democracy and no American should be denied that right,” a Bloomberg spokesperson told Axios. ”Working together with the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, we are determined to end disenfranchisement and the discrimination that has always driven it.”

Lakers star LeBron James and his More Than a Vote organization have reportedly pledged to commit $100,000 to Florida felons as well.

The donations from Bloomberg and James are in response to the Florida law that allows felons the opportunity to vote if their outstanding balances are fully paid, but the basketball player’s organization has also lent their support in other ways.

Last month, the Lakers player announced that More Than a Vote was teaming up with the Los Angeles Dodgers to turn the Dodgers stadium into a polling site in November.

“I’m really proud we were able to help the Dodgers become the first MLB stadium to open for voting,” James said at the time. “This is exactly why we created More Than A Vote. A lot of us now working together and here for every team who wants to follow the Dodgers’ lead and turn their stadium into a safer place for voting.”

The More Than A Vote organization was launched in June with the intentions to protect voter rights for Black people and inspire African-Americans to register to vote and cast a ballot in the upcoming elections.

“Because of everything that’s going on, people are finally starting to listen to us — we feel like we’re finally getting a foot in the door,” James said. “How long is up to us. We don’t know, but we feel like we’re getting some ears and some attention and this is the time for us to finally make a difference.”

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