Camila Cabello Teams Up with ‘Free the Vote’ to Fight to Restore Voting Rights of Florida’s Former Convicts

Camila Cabello is helping to free the vote

23-year-old Mexican and Cuban American singer and former Fifth Harmony member and John Legend have joined forces for crowdfunding campaign Free the Vote, which aims to restore voting rights in Florida for the formerly convicted.

Camila Cabello

Earlier this month, a Florida court ruled that people with felony convictions in Florida are required to pay off all of their fees and fines before they’re allowed to vote, putting 700,000 possible voters in jeopardy.

So Cabello and Legend have acted in response as Florida’s voter registration deadline looms on October 5, with public support from Leonardo DiCaprio, Amy Schumer, Kerry Washington, Uzo Abuda and Sacha Baron Cohen.

Since its Tuesday launch, the campaign has received more than 5,000 donations amounting to over $400,000.

“I am so proud to call Florida my home. It is full of unique and compassionate people from all backgrounds and lived experiences,” Cabello tells The Hollywood Reporter. “Voting is one of the most important ways Americans can make their voices heard. It is this diversity of voices and experiences that makes the state such a special place to live, and every single one of those voices — including returning citizens — deserves to be heard and counted.

“Florida’s pay-to-vote system unjustly prevents some formerly convicted individuals from casting their ballots,” she adds. “This system also disproportionately impacts people of color, creating obstacles for these communities as they try to exercise their right to vote.”

In 2018, Florida voters overwhelmingly passed Amendment 4, which ended the state’s lifetime ban on voting for former felons who completed their parole or probation periods and were not convicted of murder or sexual offenses. Legislators tried to limit the new law by imposing the fees and fines requirement, which was struck down in court, but then upheld on appeal September 11.

Aside from the public campaign, Legend has also quietly helped raise more than $20 million for the cause from private donors including Jeffrey and Marilyn Katzenberg, Kate Capshaw and Steven Spielberg, Michael Bloomberg and LeBron James for the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition. More than 56,000 donations have been made to the organization, with the goal of raising $25 million.

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Earlier this month, a Florida court ruled that people with felony convictions in Florida are required to pay off all of their fees and fines before they’re allowed to vote, putting 700,000 possible voters in jeopardy.

So Cabello and Legend have acted in response as Florida’s voter registration deadline looms on October 5, with public support from Leonardo DiCaprio, Amy Schumer, Kerry Washington, Uzo Abuda and Sacha Baron Cohen.

Since its Tuesday launch, the campaign has received more than 5,000 donations amounting to over $400,000.

“I am so proud to call Florida my home. It is full of unique and compassionate people from all backgrounds and lived experiences,” Cabello tells The Hollywood Reporter. “Voting is one of the most important ways Americans can make their voices heard. It is this diversity of voices and experiences that makes the state such a special place to live, and every single one of those voices — including returning citizens — deserves to be heard and counted.

“Florida’s pay-to-vote system unjustly prevents some formerly convicted individuals from casting their ballots,” she adds. “This system also disproportionately impacts people of color, creating obstacles for these communities as they try to exercise their right to vote.”

In 2018, Florida voters overwhelmingly passed Amendment 4, which ended the state’s lifetime ban on voting for former felons who completed their parole or probation periods and were not convicted of murder or sexual offenses. Legislators tried to limit the new law by imposing the fees and fines requirement, which was struck down in court, but then upheld on appeal September 11.

Aside from the public campaign, Legend has also quietly helped raise more than $20 million for the cause from private donors including Jeffrey and Marilyn Katzenberg, Kate Capshaw and Steven Spielberg, Michael Bloomberg and LeBron James for the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition. More than 56,000 donations have been made to the organization, with the goal of raising $25 million.

Monica Hernandez to Moderate the Next Democratic Presidential Debate

Monica Hernandezis getting political…

The Latina broadcast journalist and WMUR-TV anchor/reporter will serve as a moderator at the next Democratic presidential debate, alongside ABC News chief anchor George StephanopoulosWorld News Tonight’s David Muir, ABC News correspondent Linsey Davis, and WMUR-TV’s Adam Sexton.

Monica Hernandez

The debate is set for February 7 at 8:00 pm ET in Manchester, New Hampshire, wedged between the Iowa Caucusesfour days before and the New Hampshire primary four days after.

The eighth debate of the primary cycle is hosted by ABC News, WMUR-TV and Apple News. It is set at St. Anselm Collegein Manchester and will air on ABCHearst Television’s WMUR-TV, Apple News and on ABC News Live.

So far, all six of the candidates who qualified for the previous debate – Joe BidenPete ButtigiegAmy KlobucharBernie SandersTom Steyer and Elizabeth Warren— appear to have met the fundraising and polling thresholds to qualify for the debate. Another way in per Democratic National Committeerules would be to score a pledged delegate in Iowa.

The qualifying criteria involving grassroots fundraising (225,000 individual donors with 1,000 unique donors or more per state) likely will keep out candidate Michael Bloomberg, who is self-financing.

The previous debate hosted by CNNat Drake Universityin Des Moines, Iowa on January 14 drew an estimated 7.3 million viewers, a slight uptick from the 6.17 million who watched the debate in December, sponsored by PBSand Politico, and the 6.5 million who watched November’s event, hosted by MSNBC.

The New Hampshire debate is the second of four in each of the key voting states. Next up is February 19 in Las Vegas, hosted by NBC News and MSNBC with The Nevada Independent, and February 25 in in Charleston, SC, hosted by CBS News, the Congressional Black Caucus Institute and Twitter.