Florida orders new purge of voter list

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The Independent US

The last time Florida conducted a purge of felons from its voter rolls, in the notorious 2000 presidential election, gaping inaccuracies in the list caused tens of thousands of eligible voters to be wrongfully disenfranchised, almost certainly the biggest single factor denying Al Gore the keys to the White House.

The last time Florida conducted a purge of felons from its voter rolls, in the notorious 2000 presidential election, gaping inaccuracies in the list caused tens of thousands of eligible voters to be wrongfully disenfranchised, almost certainly the biggest single factor denying Al Gore the keys to the White House.

Now Florida's chief elections official has unexpectedly ordered a new purge, causing fury among civil rights groups who successfully sued the state last time, and bewildering county election supervisors who say the lists they have been sent are, again, beset with errors.

The Secretary of State's office - previously an independent branch of government but now under the direct control of Governor Jeb Bush, the President's brother - has drawn up a list of 47,687 people it says are ineligible to vote because of their criminal history.

The Secretary of State, Glenda Hood, insists the list is much more accurate than the one used in 2000 because it has been cross-checked across numerous official databases. Her critics say that at least two of the databases have been found to be inaccurate and have not been amended.

The elections supervisor in Orange County, which covers Orlando, said the list he received was riddled with errors, including incorrect names and faulty charge lists. In Leon County, around the state capital Tallahassee, the elections supervisor, Ion Sancho, said a cursory examination of his list had brought up the name of an employee in the county courthouse, who is not a felon.

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