Two Thousand Mistakes

Now that a judge has ruled state officials must make copies of the voter purge list available. News organizations have found the names of at least 2,000 people who shouldn’t be on it.

Even though they tried to block the release of the voter purge list, elections officials now say the court ruling allowing copies to be distributed will help ensure the list is accurate.

The list has names of potential felons who may not have the right to vote, but Leon County Election Supervisor Ion Sancho says having the list out there doesn’t solve the bigger problem.

Sancho says election supervisors don’t have the money or manpower to go through 47,000 names, and this isn’t how he should be spending his time anyway.

“Correcting records in the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, correcting records in each one of the 67 Clerks of the Courts offices and finding errors in the Office of Executive Clemency, now I’m sorry, that’s not the election administrator’s job,” says Sancho.

Governor’s Select Task Force report told the Legislature they needed to come up with a better system for purging felons from the voting list, and here Florida is three years later facing the same problems.

We wanted Jeb Bush to tell us why his administration fought so hard against distributing copies of the list and whether he has confidence it will be accurate by election time, but he ducked out the back of a swearing-in ceremony at the stateSsupreme Court to avoid reporters.

Florida Democratic Party chairman Scott Maddox wasn’t surprised.

“Well, of course the governor’s going to duck the media,” Maddox says.

He tried to keep the list out of public scrutiny. It took a judge in Circuit Court to say the public has to see this list because they were trying to hide it and now we find the Miami Herald has found over 2,000 errors right off the bat.

It also appears about three times as many Democrats as Republicans are on the voter purge list, and many more blacks than whites. The race is on to find out how many of them actually should have the right to vote.

People for the American Way has set up a website where it has posted the potential voter purge list.