This week, it was announced that former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg (D) had paid the fines for 32,000. Felons in Florida to ensure that they’re able to vote in the upcoming November election.
This comes on the heel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit announcing that ex-felons failed to prove that the voting requirements in Florida amount to an unconstitutional poll tax.
In a statement regarding the payment of fines, a Bloomberg spokesperson commented that “the right to vote is fundamental to our democracy and no American should be denied that right.” Moreover, “working together with the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, we are determined to end disenfranchisement and the discrimination that has always driven it.”
In response, Florida rep. Matt Gaetz (R) has slammed the former 2020 presidential candidate, calling for a criminal probe into the Mayor’s move.
In speaking to Fox News’ Sean Hannity, the Florida lawmaker commented that he believes “there may be a criminal investigation already underway of. The Bloomberg-connected activities in Florida.” Moreover, Gaetz detailed that Florida law determines “it’s a third-degree felony for someone to either directly or indirectly provide something of value to impact whether or not someone votes,” adding that “the question is whether or not paying off someone’s fines and legal obligations counts as something of value, and it clearly does.”
So, the lawmaker concludes that “if Michael Bloomberg was offering to pay off people’s credit card debts, you would obviously see the value in that.”