State Wants More Control of Voter Lists

After the state refused to disclose the names of 47,000 voters on a felon purge list last summer, news organizations and civil rights groups went to court. Once public, major inaccuracies were found and the list was voluntarily discontinued.

Now the same state agency under the governor wants the final say on who is eligible to vote and who isn’t across Florida.

The People for the American Way sued to make the felon list public, expose its flaws and got it thrown out.

Reggie Mitchell says the secretary of state should not be given greater control over who votes and who doesn’t.

"Then in 2004 they were caught again and they dropped the entire list, so it seems to me to the average voter that doesn’t merit being promoted to being in control of everything."

Florida election supervisors were clearly blind sided by the proposal until 48 hours ago when they were working on this draft which clearly gives them the authority to decide who’s eligible."

Many supervisors like Ion Sancho of Leon County are livid.

"And the Division of Elections did it three times in 1998, 2000 and in 2004 has tried to centralize these procedures, and they’ve flubbed it every time."

Larry Spaulding of the ACLU says if there is going to be a central list, partisan office holders shouldn’t control it.

"Clearly in Florida the Secretary of State is an active political operative."

A day after it was unveiled, Jeb Bush is already backing away from the effort to control the list.

“I kind of like the idea that the supervisor should be responsible for maintaining the list."

As part of the power grab proposal, the elections office in Tallahassee is asking for power to fine local supervisors up to $5,000 if they don’t follow the state’s legal advice.


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