Basketball star LeBron James is raising funds to help people in Florida with felony records pay outstanding court debts that prevent them from voting. The initiative is part of More Than a Vote, an organization that has dedicated at least part of its efforts to safeguarding African-American voting rights since James and a team of other black athletes and entertainers formed it last month.
“The right to vote should not come with a price tag,” more than a vote announced on Twitter.
The right to vote should not come with a price tag. #MoreThanAVote @morethanavote is stepping up to help @FLRightsRestore’s efforts to pay these fines and restore our democracy: https://t.co/48p39iS1fA pic.twitter.com/mbhoLeVgii
— More Than A Vote (@morethanavote) July 24, 2020
The group plans to donate $100,000 to the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition. FRRC helped end Florida’s lifetime voting ban for most people with felony convictions in 2018.
“This partnership will improve lives and strengthen our democracy,” said Desmond Meade, Executive Director of FRRC. “FRRC is thrilled to partner with More Than A Vote to help Florida’s returning citizens pay off their fines and fees, complete their sentence and move forward with their lives. We look forward to the positive impact it will have on our communities and the lives of those who are hoping to vote and have their voices heard.”
Last month, James said he would use his social media presence to spotlight voter suppression and other forms of disenfranchisement.
“Yes, we want you to go out and vote, but we’re also going to give you the tutorial,” James said. “We’re going to give you the background of how to vote and what they’re trying to do, the other side, to stop you from voting.”
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.