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Florida's 'Disappeared Voters': Disfranchised by the GOP

For The Nation
In Latin America they might have called them votantes desaparecidos, “disappeared voters.” On November 7 tens of thousands of eligible Florida voters were wrongly prevented from casting their ballots–some purged from the voter registries and others blocked from registering in the first instance. Nearly all were Democrats, nearly half of them African-American. The systematic program that disfranchised these legal voters, directed by the offices of Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Secretary of State Katherine Harris, was so quiet, subtle and intricate that if not for George W. Bush’s 537-vote eyelash margin of victory, certified by Harris, the chance of the purge’s discovery would have been vanishingly small.

A Blacklist Burning For Bush

Hey, Al, take a look at this. Every time I cut open another alligator, I find the bones of more Gore voters. This week, I was hacking my way through the Florida swampland known as the Office of Secretary of State Katherine Harris and found a couple thousand more names of voters electronically ‘disappeared’ from the vote rolls. About half of those named are African-Americans. They had the right to vote, but they never made it to the balloting booths.

Florida's flawed "voter-cleansing" program – Salon.com's politics story of the year

If Vice President Al Gore is wondering where his Florida votes went, rather than sift through a pile of chad, he might want to look at a “scrub list” of 173,000 names targeted to be knocked off the Florida voter registry by a division of the office of Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris. A close examination suggests thousands of voters may have lost their right to vote based on a flaw-ridden list that included purported “felons” provided by a private firm with tight Republican ties.