Felon List Raising Questions

One of the biggest problems of the 2000 election was qualified voters denied their ballot because they were wrongly branded as felons.

A new list of 50,000 potential felons is being circulated this year. The problem is that it is only being given to political parties and elections supervisors. First amendment advocates call it illegal.

Charles Evans of NAACP is angry.

"We are concerned with the number of names that might be on the list that may be there illegally and unethically," says Charles.

We took the concerns to elections officials as they kicked off a voter education campaign. Reporters asked Secretary of State Glenda Hood if the intent was to keep the list secret, then what is the intent with the list. "Well first of all the legislature mandated that this process be put in place."

Despite assurances that everything is above board, supervisors themselves say they have serious concerns with the information they are being given. One of those concerned is Indian River County Supervisor of Elections Kay Clem.

"Many times a felon is charged then the case is plead down to a misdemeanor or whatever, and that's the record that we need to get," says Clem.

Many election supervisors may not have the resources to do the thorough check to resolve conflicting information, which means Florida could be on the verge of making the same mistake twice.


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