It’s no secret Republicans are actively attempting to suppress the vote, especially in key battleground states such as Florida. On the latest episode of #RolandMartinUnfiltered, Roland spoke with Desmond Meade, the President of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, about how the GOP is trying to push former felon’s off the voter rolls if they have outstanding court debts. While Roland remains distrustful of Repbulican Floridians, Meade and his organization are continuing to stay vigilant and fighting back!
“What they’re trying to do is actually illegal,” Meade said. “In Florida, you can not remove somebody less than 30 days out from an election…We know that there are folks that are desperate. There are folks that are trying to intimidate folks and discourage people from voting — especially in the African-American community.”
Meade then directed his rally-cry at Republican detractors, “our message to them is we recognize what you’re trying to do but we don’t scare easy; we’re not going to be intimidated.”
When Roland responds by mentioning, “it has become Republican party policy to focus on voter suppression” after amendment 4 passed, Meade suggests the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, which has restored the voting rights to over 1.4 million incarcerated people, will remain steadfast.
Major donations have assisted Meade and his organization in their efforts to restore voting rights. Celebrities like Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Ariana Grande, and companies such as Levis and Viacom have contributed to the $300 million dollars in funds raised to remove court fees and fines from at least 40,000 individuals, Meade stated.
However, despite recent reports indicating former Presidential hopeful Michael Bloomberg has chipped in to the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, Meade explained he has not received one penny from the former New York Mayor.
“We have heard from him but we are focused on moving forward and focusing on returning citizens to society. That’s our number one priority,” Meade said. “We’re going to maintain focus on the people. Unfortunately, that Michael Bloomberg announcement created a cloud over work that we’ve been doing for over a year. The minute this announcement was made, all of the sudden it became politicized. The money we got was from patriots across the country.”
Check out the full interview above.