Former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg and his team have raised more than $16 million to pay the court fines and fees of nearly 32,000 Black and Hispanic Florida voters with felony convictions, an effort aimed at boosting turnout for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.
The money will go to fund a program organized by the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition to pay the fines, fees and restitution costs for former prisoners who are already registered to vote in Florida but barred by law from participating in the election because of those outstanding debts.
Bloomberg, who has committed at least $100 million to electing Biden in the state, raised the money from individuals and foundations over the last week, his advisers said. He saw the donations as a more cost-effective way of adding votes to the Democratic column than investing money to persuade voters who already have the right to vote, a Bloomberg memo said.
The Bloomberg effort, which will be pooled with about $5 million already raised by the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, is narrowly focused only on Black and Hispanic voters who are already registered to vote and whose debts are less than $1,500.
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