On Friday, former Miami Heat superstar LeBron James and held his newly formed voting rights, More than a vote, announced a partnership with the Florida Rights Restoration Commission (FRRC). This $ 100,000 campaign is part of a larger FRRC effort to ensure that individuals who have been detained will be able to vote this November.
But there is a drop in the bucket. More than 1 million people have the potential to be re-licensed. With the requirement set by the legislature to force them to pay fines and fees before they can register, re-licensing them all is an expensive business. LeBron and friends have a great job.
Where to start? One way is to do it in a way that gets lawmakers up and paying attention – and possibly even asking a legislature to abolish today’s polling tax. Gather voter registration in adjacent districts to reach the same number of voters – and open a path that will make it easier for them all in the future. Indeed, if the Florida House of Representatives were Democrats, with both parties getting a seat on the table, the counties would be fairer when they were redrawn by 2021 – and the fine and fee clause is likely function has been abolished. (See our previous articles here and here.)
We can find out exactly where to contribute to the FRRC (put the link here10 times more efficient – using the Princeton Electoral Association’s Moneyball method.
.@KingJames new voting group @morethanavote announced that they are raising $ 100,000 for @FLRightsRestore pay fees and fines to people with a felony conviction in Florida so they can vote in November pic.twitter.com/RmWQsCu9KW
– Ari Berman (@AriBerman) July 24, 2020
In November 2018, the Floridians cast a resounding vote in favor of Amendment 4, which restored voting power to the 1.2 million people previously convicted of felony. Ignoring the referendum, the State Legislature of the Republican Party and Governor Ron DeSantis passed a new law in 2019 that prevented these returning citizens from voting until they paid all unpaid fines to the criminal justice system.
This new law faced various legal challenges, but less than two weeks before the Supreme Court refuse to intervene, to take effect.
The FRCC, which helped lead the campaign for Amendment 4, has already started working to help people who have been convicted of paying fines. Surname estimate that an average person who has been previously incarcerated is about $ 500 in fees. So while the More Than A Vote’s donation is a good start, it’s still not enough (almost $ 600 million above the required level).
As we wrote at PEC before, the most effective way up front are advocates focused on voter registration in the state legislature, where even a few hundred or thousands more will make the biggest difference. In the previous articles about Florida, we are note that “in 2018, the 14 most recent Republican counties in the Florida House of Representatives were decided with an average of 3.0 percent – about 2,100 votes. That figure is much smaller than 12,000, the average number of citizens per county likely to be renewed by the 4 ”Amendment.
The Florida House of Representatives has 73 Republicans and 47 Democrats. Democrats only need to win 14 seats to overthrow the council and block single party (and potentially gerrymandering) control in time for a redistribution in 2021.
In these 14 volatile counties, all races combined won a total of about 30,661 votes. So a focused effort to register residents in these counties is a more cost-effective approach, rather than investing across Sunshine State as a whole.
Some of the closest Democratic pickup seats are located in LeBron’s former backyard: the larger Miami area, namely House Districts 89, 93, 105, 115, 119 and 120. Perhaps it is best for the FRCC and More Than A Vote to start voter registration on these six seats first.
Click here to contribute to FRRC.