TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Billionaire Mike Bloomberg is raising millions of dollars to help Florida’s felons pay their debts and register to vote in the November election. But there are allegations that Bloomberg could be breaking the law by helping them cast their vote.
The deadline to register to vote in Florida is Monday, Oct. 5. This applies to all Floridians, not just felons.
Bloomberg has already pledged to spend $100 million to help former Vice President Joe Biden win the Sunshine State.
8 On Your Side has confirmed authorities are now looking into his other actions in the state.
As the polls tighten in Florida, former Democratic presidential candidate Bloomberg is working to shape the landscape. He’s helped raise more than $20 million for felons to restore their voting rights.
In an interview on Fox News, Republican Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz claimed this was potentially bribery.
“I will be calling on the Florida attorney general to launch an investigation,” Rep. Gaetz said. “It’s not every felon, it’s just those which they have specifically identified as the Biden voters.”
Less than 24 hours after that interview, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody announced there’s now an investigation to see if Bloomberg broke election laws.
In a letter to the FBI and FDLE, Moody referenced a law that makes it illegal to “directly or indirectly give or promise anything of value to another in casting his or her vote.”
8 On Your Side requested an interview with Bloomberg. We’re waiting to hear back.
In a statement provided by the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, Bloomberg said, “the right to vote is fundamental to our democracy and no American should be denied that right. Working together with the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRRC), we are determined to end disenfranchisement and the discrimination that has always driven it.”
Florida voters supported Amendment 4 in 2018, allowing some felons to restore their voting rights.
Republicans passed a law in 2019 requiring the payment of court fines and fees first.
Just weeks before the November election, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit upheld the law. Democrats believe Florida’s voters have been undermined.
Congressman Gaetz suggested only Biden supporters will be able to access the fund and vote in November. A spokesman for FRRC tells 8 On Your Side that’s not true. The group says they’re committed to helping Biden and Trump supporters pay their fees and cast their ballots.
LATEST 8 ON YOUR SIDE INVESTIGATIONS:
- Tampa arson case involving home in contractor dispute now inactive
- Bay area, national data raises ‘red flags’ for some but VA insists veterans prefer VA care
- Bay Area lawmaker calls for probe after claims from VA employees and near-perfect data
- Tampa family stuck in motel while searching for affordable Section 8 home
- Florida housing crisis: Section 8 vouchers can’t keep up with Tampa Bay rent hikes