THOUSANDS WHO HAVE HAD THEIR VOTING RIGHTS MAY REMAIN ON FLORIDA PURGE LISTS - Mitch Perry

06/08/04

According to a new report, the state of Florida’s “Felon Match� list for purging voters may include many of the 25,585 people whose voting rights have ALREADY been restored through clemency grants or pardons.

According to research by the Brennan Center for Justice at the NYU School of Law, The Florida Division of Elections database identifies over 145,000 individuals who have been granted clemency since 1964. They say that documents obtained from the Florida Office of Executive Clemency show a different - and much larger - number of records of possessed clemency cases and pardons over the same period - specifically 171,408 individuals.

Jessie Allen is an Associate Counsel at the Brennan Center. (roll tape#1 o.q.� in November�) The Brennan Center is emphasizing that not all 25,585 potential voters making up the difference will appear on the state’s purge list. Because the records date some 40 years back to 1964, some of those people have obviously passed away or moved out of state. Some have never registered to vote …..But the Brennan Center says it is impossible to estimate how many of these 25,585 names will appear on the felon match list, in part because the state refuses access to the list….

Incidentally, a number of news organizations are appearing in Court tomorrow challenging the State’s refusal to publish that list.

There has been a tremendous amount of scrutiny regarding the Felon List , based on the Egregious problems with such a list in 2000….Some estimate tens of thousand of people who were NOT felons were listed as such…..Jessie Allen from the Brennan Center says she sees a lot of problems NOT fully corrected from what happened in 2000 (roll tape#2 o.q.�in fact�)

WMNF called the Florida Secretary of State’s office for comment late this afternoon…. That call was not returned.

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