Bloomberg puts money where his mouth is

Daily Camera (Boulder) - - Daily Camera -

The Ed­i­to­rial Board re­cently urged Michael Bloomberg to “write a big old check” to help ex-felons in Florida vote in the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion. The ed­i­to­rial was picked up by sev­eral na­tional out­lets.

Then Bloomberg an­nounced that he has raised al­most $20 mil­lion for the cause. Bravo!

Af­ter decades of be­ing de­nied the right to vote, most for­mer pris­on­ers in the state still are be­ing de­nied ac­cess to the bal­lot box, even though, in 2018, a solid ma­jor­ity of vot­ers ap­proved a con­sti­tu­tional amend­ment al­low­ing them to cast bal­lots. Gov. Ron Desan­tis and the Repub­li­can Leg­is­la­ture erected what they knew would be a road­block: an added pro­vi­sion that ex-felons have to pay all court fees and fines be­fore hav­ing their right to vote re­stored. It was a caveat that vot­ers never in­tended.

Bloomberg is ful­fill­ing his prom­ise to do any­thing in his money’s power to pull Florida into Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Joe Bi­den’s camp in Novem­ber. He al­ready had pledged to spend $100 mil­lion in Florida alone for Bi­den ads.

Bloomberg an­nounced his team has raised at least $16 mil­lion to pay the court fines and fees of nearly 32,000 of the 776,000 vot­ers with felony con­vic­tions, many of them Black and His­panic.

The onus now is on Bloomberg’s coali­tion to quickly reach out to those dis­en­fran­chised vot­ers in Florida, set­tle up their fines and fees, and get them reg­is­tered to vote be­fore the Oct. 5 dead­line.

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