Jul 24, 2020 - Politics & Policy

LeBron James' group to donate $100k to turn out ex-felon vote in Florida

Lebron James in March.
LeBron James in March. Photo: Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

More Than A Vote, an organization launched by Lakers forward LeBron James and other Black athletes and entertainers, announced on Friday it will donate $100,000 to help pay the court debts and fees of ex-felons in Florida so they can register to vote in November's election, Politico reports.

Why it matters: After Florida voters approved a measure in 2o18 that restored felons' voting rights after they completed their sentences, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed a law requiring convicted felons to pay outstanding fines and penalties to get their voting rights back.

  • James' group will donate the money to the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, which advocated for the 2018 measure that lifted the state's lifetime felony voting ban.

What they're saying: “Your right to vote shouldn’t depend upon whether or not you can pay to exercise it,” Miami Heat forward and More than a Vote member Udonis Haslem said, per Politico.

The big picture: The Supreme Court recently declined to block Florida's rules that prevent some convicted felons from voting.

  • That ruling may have prevented convicted felons from registering before the state's primaries next month, and put some 85,000 people who had already registered in limbo.
  • Joe Biden is currently beating President Trump by 13 points in Florida — 51% to 38% — per a Quinnipiac University poll released this week. Florida, with its 29 electoral votes, is a key state in the president's re-election bid.
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