The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, a non-partisan organization that pays the court fees and fines of felons to restore their right to vote, has received threats from white supremacists after Florida Republicans formally requested for police to investigate the organization.
The Tampa Bay Times reports that following the Florida Republicans request for an investigation into the program, white supremacists have threatened the organization’s executive director, Desmond Meade, for supposedly “working to undermine President Donald Trump’s re-election.”
“White supremacist groups were encouraging people to go to our website and do nefarious things and trying to sabotage the site,” said Meade to the Tampa Bay Times.
“We’ve never had this issue before. We’re fighting just as hard for that person who wishes they could have voted for Donald Trump as the person who wishes they voted for Barack Obama.”
Last month, the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition came under a larger spotlight when former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg encouraged donors to contribute to the organization. Almost 32,000 Black and Latinx felons were blocked from voting due to a ruling that they could only vote if their fees were paid.
Bloomberg’s work to assist in paying the fees of people who served their time caught the attention of Republican Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody. She requested for the Tampa FBI and Florida Department of Law Enforcement to look into the program, implying that “Bloomberg could be offering illegal incentives for felons to vote,” according to the Tampa Bay Times.
Moody’s spokeswoman, Lauren Cassedy, released a statement about the threatening emails that have been coming in for Meade’s organization. “White supremacy and racism are unacceptable,” she wrote. “Threats of violence should be immediately reported to law enforcement.”