ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – With Election Day being less than two weeks away, leaders from the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition said statewide they’ve paid off fines and fees for 40,000 returning citizens in an effort to encourage them to vote.
They’re calling Saturday a statewide day of action where thousands of returning citizens are expected to early vote.
In Orlando, we’re told hundreds of returning citizens will march through Parramore Saturday to the Amway Center to early vote.
“So many of these individuals are going to be voting for the first time. I myself, am going to be voting in my first presidential election ever,” President of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition Desmond Meade said.
He told News 6 he’s happy about Saturday - and seeing what he calls real people who are excited about letting their voices be heard.
“The biggest winners in this election are going to be the returning citizens, people who have been shut out of the democratic process for over 150 years,” Meade said.
News 6 was there when Meade legally registered to vote last year after amendment 4 passed in Florida. He said since then, He’s done bus tours across Florida pushing the importance of felons voting.
“There are thousands upon thousands of returning citizens who are yearning for this opportunity, and they will not be denied and they’re going to show up,” Meade said.
He said his organization has since paid off fines and fees for more than 40,000 returning citizens statewide so they can vote. The $27 million is from celebrities and generous people who donated.
The march will start outside of the Amway Center at 2 p.m. on Saturday.