Saturday, July 10, 2004

Establishing Democracy in Florida

Florida elections officials said Saturday they will not use a disputed list that was designed to keep felons from voting, acknowledging a flaw that could have allowed convicted Hispanic felons to cast ballots in November.

The glitch in a state that President Bush won by just 537 votes could have been significant -- because of the state's sizable Cuban population, Hispanics in Florida have tended to vote Republican more than Hispanics nationally. The list had about 28,000 Democrats and around 9,500 Republicans, with most of the rest unaffiliated.

``Not including Hispanic felons that may be voters on the list ... was an oversight and a mistake,'' Gov. Jeb Bush said. ``And we accept responsibility and that's why we're pulling it back.''