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2004 Presidential Election

By: Marise Estime
By: Marise Estime

The 2000 election was an election nightmare. It was plagued with problems ranging from badly designed ballots to voter intimidation and suppression.

A non-partisan group has been formed to ensure all Floridians get a chance to vote. Some 25,000 trained poll monitors including 5,000 lawyers and law students will be watching this election very closely. Their goal is to make sure everyone gets a chance to vote.

A group on non-partisan volunteers from around the country is busy answering calls from folks who've had problems at the polls.

Larry Moore, and Election Protection volunteer, says, "I wasn't aware of the number of problems people were encountering out there in the precincts after being in line for two to three hours, being told they're have to leave they can’t vote here, so there are so many problems that citizens seem to be running into."

Some 200 attorneys will be in Tallahassee to answer calls or complaints voters may have. In addition, volunteers will be at polling sites to make sure this election runs smoothly.

Damien Filer, Election Protection spokesman, says, "We have a Voting Bill of Rights that explains to people what their voting rights are. We strongly encourage everyone to stay committed to the process. It's going to take all of us to make it work."

So far Floridians are trying to make it work, but the 2000 election fiasco has caused some of them to have mixed feelings about the election process.

Betty Harris, who is upset by 2000 election fiasco, says, "I think if we go to vote our vote should count. I don't think our vote should be thrown out or lost, or you can't find them I think they need to stop playing games with the American people.”

Jennifer McClanaghan, who trusts the voting system, adds, "I think it's important that we don't loose faith. It's the best system that there is. I think it's alright to be out here. I think to loose faith is to be giving up that right and I just think I would stand here for three hours if I had to."

The volunteers from the Election Protection will be handing out flyers at various precincts. A toll free number (1-866-OUR-VOTE) is available to anyone who is being intimidated or harassed.


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