Registration Fraud Fears

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Janice Lucas of the group People for the American Way is one of thousands of folks who’ve been involved with voter registration drives for the 2004 election.

She’s angered that one of the other so-called “third party groups” registering voters apparently altered 1,500 registrations to make it appear all the applicants were Republicans.

Janice says, “Certainly we are concerned and we don’t want that to happen and our nerves are on edge as we’re less than four weeks away from the election. No one is sure where the questionable applications came from. They were dropped off at the secretary of state’s office, but no one there remembers them coming in.”

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement confirms it does have an active investigation going. Authorities say the voter registration irregularities extend beyond Leon County.

Elections officials in Miami-Dade, Duval and Monroe Counties have asked authorities to investigate voter registration irregularities. People in Orange and Pinellas Counties have complained too.

Secretary of state spokeswoman Jenny Nash says the real issue may be so many different groups involved in voter registration. There are no specific rules on who can register voters.

Jenny says, "Many times people register with these third party groups and are unaware if there’s any problem in the interim and then show up at their precinct or at the polls on election day and their application wasn’t received or was incomplete."

Elections officials admit they may never know who is behind the apparent fraud. They’re already preparing for angry victims on election day.