The Nation Magazine
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.