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Former Miami Heat Star Lebron James Gives $100K to Wipe Out Ex-Felons’ Debts, Restore Voting Rights

Lebron James
Miami Heat forward LeBron James stands on the court during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Orlando Magic in Orlando, Fla., Monday, Dec. 31, 2012.(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Former Miami Heat superstar LeBron James might be long gone from the Sunshine State, but he still certainly has his eye on us.

James’ “More Than A Vote” initiative last Friday committed $100,000 to the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, in an effort to help ensure that ex-felons are able to regain the right to vote.

“This is a fight about their constitutional right to vote being denied,” James tweeted.

The money is expected to help felons pay court-ordered financial obligations that are keeping them from completing all the terms of their sentences after they are released from prison.

More than 65 percent of Florida voters two years ago approved a constitutional amendment to restore the voting rights of felons who have completed their sentences.

Yet, the issue has led to a major legal battle, after the Legislature passed a law in 2019 that requires felons to pay fees, fines, restitution and court costs associated with their convictions in order to be eligible to vote.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is set to hear arguments next month in a challenge to the 2019 law, with voting-rights groups comparing the financial requirements to a “poll tax.”

Orlando attorney John Morgan tweeted over the weekend that he plans to match James’ effort to help felons pay the court-ordered obligations.

“LeBron, you put up $100K and I put up $100K,” Morgan tweeted. “Let’s challenge our friends to help. I challenge @BillClinton to help us. We pay the cheapest fines first. @KingJames, who are you going to challenge?!?”

James spent four seasons with the Miami Heat, bringing two NBA championships to South Florida, before leaving in 2014. He now plays for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Supreme Court Allows Florida’s New “Ex-Felon” Voting Law to Take Effect