The list could be used to contest Florida's election results if they're once again too close to call.
News that the Florida Republican Party’s newly created database of felons who shouldn’t be allowed to vote contains several mistakes hit Sam Heyward hard. He got caught up in the state’s now defunct list, even though his voting rights were restored years ago.
Heyward says the fact that some people are wrongly on the Republican’s list too shows it also should be ignored.
Sam says, “I really don’t want to encourage people to go out and vote who know that their civil rights have been restored and they shouldn’t be voting, but at the same time I would much rather see them go out and vote than those of us who should be allowed to vote to be told that we can’t vote.”
But Republicans are defending their felon list. Flawed or not, they say it’s important to keep people who are not allowed to vote from abusing the system.
Mindy Tucker of the Florida Republican Party says, “I stand by exactly what I’ve said, which is we know there might be mistakes, but this issue has to be addressed. We cannot just ignore the laws of Florida. Voters need to be protected. They need to know there are not fraudulent votes being cast on Election Day.”
The Florida Republican Party says its database shows more than 900 former felons who are not eligible to vote may have already done so, but the wife of John Kerry’s running mate, Elizabeth Edwards, says this deliberate effort to prevent people from voting sends the wrong message.
Elizabeth Edwards says, “I do know that the Republicans have been out there trying to make sure some people don’t vote and we’ve been doing just the opposite. The people working for us are called vote protectors. The people working for them are called vote challengers.”
Sam Heyward says he just hopes his name doesn’t show up on this latest list too.
The Republican Party of Florida delivered the potential felon database to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and to the supervisors of elections in each county.