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LeBron James and Michael Bloomberg pay for felons' fines to vote in the upcoming election

LeBron James and Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg are just two of the supporters who are contributing to helping pay the fines and fees of former convicts so that they can vote in the upcoming election in Florida.

So far Bloomberg has raised $16.1m to pay off fines and court debts of 32,000 convicted felons so they're eligible to vote. James and some of his partnership are sending text messages asking the convicted felons to register on a site for the fines and fee to be taken care of.

The former New York City mayor's contribution makes up the bulk of $20m raised by Florida Rights Restoration Coalition following a recent court ruling that allows convicted felons to regain their right to vote.

Black or Latino voters who were already registered to vote, with outstanding fines of less than $1,500, were eligible for the race-based payback initiative.

Along with an additional $5m from donors including John Legend and Michael Jordan, the program has paid off 32,000 voters in the key swing state of Florida.

A 2018 state constitutional amendment that allowed felons to vote was challenged by voting rights groups, but it was upheld 10 days ago by the 11th United States Circuit Court of Appeals.

“We have identified a significant vote share that requires a nominal investment,” the memo read. “The data shows that in Florida, Black voters are a unique universe unlike any other voting bloc, where the Democratic support rate tends to be 90 per cent to 95 per cent.”

The former Democratic presidential candidate wanted to pay off the fines "because it immediately activates tens of thousands of voters who are predisposed to vote for Joe Biden”.

Mr Bloomberg, who had already pledged at least $100mn to the Biden campaign's efforts in Florida, said in a statement he is "determined to end disenfranchisement and the discrimination that has always driven it".

"The right to vote is fundamental to our democracy and no American should be denied that right," he said.

Desmond Meade, executive director of the Florida Rights and Restoration Coalition, said the organization would outline on Wednesday their plans to pay off the fines and get the 32,000 felons registered to vote before the 5 October deadline.

“This effort is about placing people over politics," Mr Meade said.

Back in June, James launched a group called “More Than A Vote” to “fight Black voter suppression and excite minority voters across the nation.”

James sent out another message on Twitter retweeting “More Than A Vote” saying that, “This is SYSTEMIC RACISM and OPPRESSION.”

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