October 21, 2004

Speaking of how Florida runs its elections.

Paul Krugman reminds us about how Dubya's brother has made sure that very few of the problems with Florida's election process have been fixed since the 2000 debacle:

Last week I described Greg Palast's work on the 2000 election, reported recently in Harper's, which conclusively shows that Florida was thrown to Mr. Bush by a combination of factors that disenfranchised black voters. These included a defective felon list, which wrongly struck thousands of people from the voter rolls, and defective voting machines, which disproportionately failed to record votes in poor, black districts.

One might have expected Florida's government to fix these problems during the intervening four years. But most of those wrongly denied voting rights in 2000 still haven't had those rights restored - and the replacement of punch-card machines has created new problems.

After the 2000 debacle, a task force appointed by Gov. Jeb Bush recommended that the state adopt a robust voting technology that would greatly reduce the number of spoiled ballots and provide a paper trail for recounts: paper ballots read by optical scanners that alert voters to problems. This system is in use in some affluent, mainly white Florida counties.

But Governor Bush ignored this recommendation, just as he ignored state officials who urged him to "pull the plug" on a new felon list - which was quickly discredited once a judge forced the state to make it public - just days before he ordered the list put into effect. Instead, much of the state will vote using touch-screen machines that are unreliable and subject to hacking, and leave no paper trail. Mr. Palast estimates that this will disenfranchise 27,000 voters - disproportionately poor and black.

As Krugman also reminds us, Florida is by no means the only state where we can expect election 'irregularities' next month.

Via NY Times.

Posted by Magpie at October 21, 2004 10:20 PM | Elections | Technorati links |

Natasha and all reading --

There's a new potential voting scandal in Florida that the BBC ha slearned of. Please click on my name to go to the link. I would have emailed it to you but I didn't know how to contact you.

Posted by: John F at October 26, 2004 05:18 PM