Apparently they are trying to do it again this year, but they swear, this time it'll be fair.... right
Deja vu at the Florida polls?
Scrubbing felons from voter rolls raises fresh concerns
By TIM PADGETT
Tuesday, June 15, 2004 Posted: 1937 GMT (0337 HKT)
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After the 2000 presidential-election debacle in Florida, state and county election officials there agreed to examine whether the names of more than 19,000 people should be restored to the voter rolls because most of them may have been mistakenly identified as convicted felons and thus ineligible to vote.
(In Florida, convicted felons must apply to get back their voting rights after their sentences are complete, though few manage to do so.)
Those disenfranchised voters took on increased significance when Bush won the state by just 537 votes.
Have the snafus been fixed? Florida Secretary of State Glenda Hood has now told county supervisors that 47,000 more names are likely to be purged from the voter rolls this year, and election watchdogs fear that Florida is poised to repeat the mistakes of 2000 on a much larger scale.
Hood argues that the criteria for removing people from the rolls are more stringent than they were in 2000 and that supervisors are now required by law to inform those named.
"New safeguards assure that error rates will be kept to a minimum," Hood's spokeswoman says.
But critics say the state is using the same flawed database that misidentified so many voters in 2000 and has done little to improve its accuracy.
Hood staunchly denies that politics is at play, but her critics point out that almost a third of those listed reside in the heavily Democratic South Florida counties of Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach. Polls show that Democratic contender John Kerry and President Bush are running neck and neck in the state, where the President's brother Jeb is Governor.
The chads may hit the fan this week when Florida's 67 county elections supervisors meet in Key West and debate how to handle Hood's purge list of 47,000. Confirming the list's accuracy is now their responsibility, and some elections supervisors are eager to avoid a replay of 2000.
"We already found one person [on the list] whose [criminal] charges had later been reduced to a misdemeanor," says a G.O.P. supervisor.
Given what happened in 2000, he adds, "I'm going to err on the side of the voter this time."