LeBron James aided an effort to pay court fines and fees for nearly 13,000 Florida felons in recent months, per The Tampa Bay Times' Lawrence Mower and Langston Taylor.
The initiative led by James and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg made the nearly 13,000 individuals eligible to vote in the state of Florida for the 2020 election. James, Bloomberg and various other celebrities paid a total of roughly $27 million in fines and fees, per Mower and Taylor.
“We want communities to get better by having more voices heard, and the quicker people are able to be reintegrated into the community, the better,” Neil Volz, the deputy director of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition told Mower and Taylor. “If people choose to engage in that moment or not, that’s on them.”
Neither James's organization, More Than a Vote, nor Bloomberg commented on their respective donations.
Florida felons appeared to have their voting rights restored in 2018 after the passage of Amendment 4. But the enaction of the amendment was blocked by the state legislature, which ruled that felons must pay all fees and fines before regaining their right to vote. An appeal may be filed to the Supreme Court, with the deadline set for January, per Mower and Taylor.