SUPERVISOR OF ELECTIONS BUDDY JOHNSON PART 2 - Mitch Perry

05/20/04

Earlier this week, the State's Division of Elections office said that there are 47,687 Florida voters suspected as felons who may be ineligible to vote this year.

That list is being viewed with considerable scrutiny followed the 2000 Election, in which thousands - possibly tens of thousands of Eligible voters were turned away from the polls because the Division of Elections sent Counties an inaccurate list of 173,000 felons and others not qualified to vote.

In the wake of that debacle, the NAACP and other civil rights groups sued elections officials, alleging that blacks - who made up a majority of those on the list, had been denied their voting rights.

That sued was settled in 2002, with the state agreeing to restore the names of voters improperly removed, implement more stringent criteria for verifying names on future lists and create a new position to monitor compliance with the National Voter Registration Act.

In the 2nd of our 2 part interview with Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Buddy Johnson, WMNF asked him about how we will work with the list coming from the State....As opposed to being farmed out to a database company, as was the case in 2000, the state says they are providing their own lists...

Johnson handed WMNF a breakdown of a list of felons that the state provided the county in 2000, and how under the new criteria there would be fewer names taken off the rolls.

The Tallahassee Democrat reported on Wednesday that though the state has identified over 47,000 voters in Florida as being listed as a felon, they are not allowing the media or the general public to view the list...The People For the American Way has written letters to all 67 County Supervisors of Election, offering to help notifiy people in danger of being purged... In response, Elections Director Ed Kast sent a memo to supervisors last week telling them they DON"T have to comply with the group's request for the list...

WMNF asked Buddy Johnson, Hillsborough Supervisor of Elections, how many people are listed as ineligible to vote in the list sent to him by the state?

(roll tape#2 o.q."for those same reasons") That's Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Buddy Johnson...

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