How the GOP Gamed the System in Florida
by John Lantigua
The Nation magazine, April 30, 2001
In July 10, 2000, in the midst of the presidential campaign,
GOP candidate George W. Bush addressed the national NAACP convention
in Baltimore and denounced such "new forms of racism"
as racial profiling and redlining. But even as he spoke, a very
old, traditional form of racism was being implemented in Florida:
the disenfranchisement of eligible voters, especially blacks,
which helped Bush win that state and the election.
Despite one well-reported incident involving a police checkpoint
near a polling place, disenfranchisement 2000-style did not depend
on intimidation. Cattle prods and attack dogs, the legacy of former
Birmingham Commissioner of Public Safety Bull Connor, were nowhere
in evidence. Instead, Florida state elections officials and hired
data crunchers used computers to target thousands of voters, many
of whom were then purged from the voter rolls without reason.
And many thousands more saw their votes thrown out as a result
of error-prone voting machines and poorly designed ballots, the
results of an underfunded and chaotic electoral system.
In all, some 200,000 Floridians were either not permitted
to vote in the November 7 election on questionable or possibly
illegal grounds, or saw their ballots discarded and not counted.
A large and disproportionate number were black.
Florida's black leaders, already engaged in an emotional,
bitter confrontation with Governor Jeb Bush, George W. Bush's
brother, had mounted an unprecedented voter registration effort
to defeat candidates they saw as political enemies. According
to exit polls, 65 percent more black voters went to the polls
in Florida in 2000 than in the 1996 election, and of the votes
that were counted, blacks went at least 9 to I for Democrat AI
Gore. But the votes that were tallied were not enough. After the
US Supreme Court cut off ballot recounts, Bush had a margin of
537 votes out of more than 5.8 million cast. The closeness of
the final count made all votes not cast and not counted that much
more crucial. (As one example, the Palm Beach Post recently reported
that Gore lost 6,600 votes in Palm Beach County alone because
of the infamous butterfly ballot, more than ten times Bush's margin
State officials deny racist intent in their actions, but the
US Commission on Civil Rights conducted two hearings in Florida
in January and February to determine why so many Floridians were
denied the right to vote. In a preliminary assessment, the commission
noted that the Voting Rights Act of 1965 "was aimed at subtle,
as well as obvious, state regulation and practices" that
could deny citizens the right to vote because of their race. The
commission said it found evidence of "prohibited discrimination"
in Florida's polling process. A final report is due this summer.
The NAACP and others filed suit on January 10 against Secretary
of State Katherine Harris, who was a co-chair of the campaign
and is responsible for the conduct of fair elections in Florida,
and other Florida officials, charging them with violating the
Fourteenth Amendment and the 1965 Voting Rights Act. The suit
demands many reforms of the Florida electoral system.
But no future remedy can undo what happened in 2000, only
a portion of which has been revealed through the hearing, the
suit and media reports. "They done got us," said civil
rights veteran Elmore Bryant of Marianna, Florida, referring to
the GOP-mandated purge of voter rolls. "They had themselves
a game and we had no game. The old leaders in the '60s wouldn't
have let this happen. We woulda had us a game too, but we didn't.
They done got us good."
The stage for the November 7 election and the effort by black
leaders to defeat George W. Bush was set during Jeb Bush's initial
and unsuccessful run for governor in 1994. During a debate in
Tampa on July 27 of that year, Bush was asked by a journalist
what he would do for Florida's black community if he was elected.
His answer was both concise and prophetic. "Probably nothing,"
he said, explaining that he favored what he called "equality
of opportunity" for all Floridians. Four years later, when
he ran again, he avoided such candor. But although he won, he
was backed by only 10 percent of the state's blacks, according
to exit polls. In his first year in office, Bush then eliminated
most affirmative action programs benefiting minorities and women,
substituting a plan he called the One Florida Initiative. That
program ended guaranteed minority and female set-asides in state
hiring, in the awarding of state contracts (only I percent of
state spending for merchandise and services went to minority-owned
firms as it was, according to the Miami Herald) and in university
admissions. Polls had shown that such a move would be popular
with the white majority in the state. Black and feminist leaders
called it a betrayal.
After the Governor refused to meet with them to discuss his
policy, two black state legislators staged a twenty-hour sit-in
at Bush's suite of offices. At one point Bush was overheard saying,
"Kick their asses out of here," although an aide later
claimed he was referring to journalists. Bush apologized to the
public for his language but not his policy. The sit-in attracted
statewide support from blacks, women's groups and other Floridians,
forcing Bush to accept a series of public hearings. Thousands
of citizens crowded those sessions and other demonstrations, verbally
bludgeoning both the One Florida Initiative and Bush. Black student
movements, dormant for years, were resurrected. Even members of
his own party called Bush's tactics highhanded. But with an overwhelming
GOP majority in the legislature and conservative Democrats eager
to help, Bush pushed through his One Florida plan.
State Senator Kendrick Meek, one of the two sit-in heroes,
labeled the moment the lowest point in Florida racial relations
in the past thirty-five years. He and other African-Americans
called for a statewide voter registration campaign to defeat their
political enemies at all levels, starting with the Governor's
brother. "We didn't need George W. doing to the whole nation
what Jeb was doing to Florida," said Elmore Bryant.
In September 1999, the NAACP pledged $9 million to a nationwide
voter registration campaign, and $400,000 was eventually earmarked
for Florida, the most important battleground f all. Black leaders
barnstormed the state registering voters, an effort that reminded
many of the 1960s civil rights movement. "There was a tremendous
spirit just then, like the old days," said Vivian Kelly of
Gadsden County, another longtime civil rights campaigner.
Thus the stage was set for Election Day 2000, when the black
vote went from 10 percent of the state total in 1996 to 16 percent,
according to exit polls. Some 300,000 more blacks voted than four
years before-and that only includes those who were actually allowed
to vote. But while black Floridians were registering in unprecedented
numbers, state officials were busy removing other blacks from
the voting rolls. After a 1997 Miami mayoral election, the Miami
Herald discovered that 105 people had voted despite having felonies
on their records and having never received clemency, making them
ineligible under Florida law. The article, part of a series that
helped overturn that election because of voter fraud' also revealed
that of the total number of felons found on the county voter rolls,
71 percent were registered Democrats.
Within weeks, the GOP-controlled state legislature passed
a sweeping voter fraud bill despite an unprecedented effort by
county elections supervisors to block it. The measure would unfairly
thwart citizens from voting instead of encouraging voter turnout,
said the supervisors, who actually conduct elections. Among other
provisions, the bill called for the strict enforcement of an 1868
law that took the vote away from all former prisoners who had
not received clemency, no matter how long they had been out of
prison and out of trouble. Florida is one of only fourteen states
that do not automatically restore civil rights to former prisoners
who have completed their sentence and parole. Florida's former
prisoners must petition the Office of Executive Clemency for the
restoration of their civil rights, and the final decision is made
by the governor and three other members of the Cabinet, all of
whom are partisan politicians. Before the voter fraud bill passed,
a black Democratic legislator proposed another bill, to grant
automatic restoration of rights after completion of sentence and
parole, but it never made it out of committee.
That lawmaker had good reason to worry. Blacks would bear
the brunt of this voter purge. While the population of Florida
is about 15 percent black, the population of Florida prisons is
54 percent black. Once released and having completed parole, former
prisoners have often found clemency difficult if not impossible
to achieve. According to literature provided to former prisoners
by the state, individuals can be denied the restoration of their
civil rights for many reasons, including the possibility that
they owe child support (which a father coming out of jail probably
does), a history of drug or alcohol problems and even traffic
Although the state claims the process of applying for clemency
was simplified somewhat in 2000, only 927 former prisoners regained
their civil rights last year, less than one-half of 1 percent
of the former prisoners who had finished their sentences and parole.
State Senator Meek, who has a large number of blacks in his constituency,
says that of 175 former prisoners whom he has helped apply for
clemency in the past decade, only nine have been approved.
According to the Washington-based Sentencing Project, a nonprofit
organization specializing in corrections issues, and Human Rights
Watch, Florida is currently home to more disfranchised voters
than any other state. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement
admits that 187,455 former prisoners in Florida have been disfranchised
because of felony convictions on their records. The state confirms
that 17 percent of Florida's black voting-age males have been
disfranchised. In addition, according to the Justice Department,
Florida leads the nation in the rate at which juveniles are charged
with felonies, meaning those youths lose the right to vote before
they are ever able to exercise it.
"And every year the Florida legislature is trying to
make more crimes felonies," says State Senator Daryl Jones
of Miami. "Why? So they can eliminate more people from the
voter rolls." In 2000, according to Jones, a bill was proposed
by a GOP legislator that would have increased from 365 to 366
days the jail sentence for individuals who take two welfare checks
after becoming employed. The bill was eventually defeated. "What
does one more day accomplish?" asks Jones. "It makes
it a felony, and you take one more person off the voter rolls.
That's what. It's been going on in Tallahassee for years."
By April 1998 the laws and political will were in place to
perform a definitive purge of voter rolls to remove people who
had died, had been judged mentally unstable, had moved and were
registered in more than one county or state - and, most significantly,
had ever been convicted of a felony but had not had their rights
restored by Florida's partisan Cabinet members.
The first list was produced by a Tallahassee firm, Professional
Analytical Services and Systems, using state databases. The results
proved to be full of errors. For one thing, the Florida Office
of Executive Clemency had no database, so former prisoners who
had won their rights back were often included on the list of felons
barred from voting. On August 18,1998, then-director of the Division
of Elections Ethel Baxter, citing confidentiality concerns, ordered
county elections supervisors not to release that list to the press,
which almost certainly would have discovered the gross number
of errors long before Election Day, and especially the impact
on the black vote.
In November of that year, the state contracted with Database
Technologies (DBT) of Boca Raton, which has since merged with
ChoicePoint of Atlanta. DBT eventually produced two lists- one
in 1999 and the second in 2000-that included a total of 174,583
alleged felons. Later, when lists of individuals who had received
clemency were produced, that number was reduced, although only
by a small percentage. The majority of the people on those lists
were African-Americans. DBT employees didn't always appreciate
the seriousness of their task. One e-mail between two such employees
referred to the former prisoners they were enumerating as the
"dirtbags of the nation." When DBT started to receive
complaints, sometimes directly from voters who unjustly had had
their right to vote challenged, product manager Marlene Thorogood
seemed surprised. "There are just some people that feel when
you mess with their 'right to vote' your [sic] messing with their
life," she said in an e-mail.
And complaints did come in. More than a year before Election
Day 2000, it was clear the lists contained thousands of names
of Florida citizens who had never been convicted of felonies-or
of any crime, for that matter. In some instances, the concentration
of errors was absurd: Only seven people work in the Monroe County
elections supervisors' office in Key West. One of those employees,
along with the husband of another employee and the father of Supervisor
Harry Sawyer, were all erroneously listed as having felony convictions.
"And my father is a retired Sheriff's Department captain,"
said Sawyer. The lists were also absurdly sloppy: Some conviction
dates were in the future. Angry voters by the thousands eventually
complained to county supervisors of elections, who in turn complained
The point man for the state in compiling those lists was Emmett
"Bucky" Mitchell IV, an assistant general counsel to
the Florida Division of Elections, who within a week of the November
2000 election was given a senior attorney's job in the state Department
of Education. In an interview with The Nation, Mitchell claimed
he had exercised restraint in producing the purge lists. "The
division always had the policy to err on the side of caution,"
he insisted. But reports from county supervisors, correspondence
between state officials and DBT employees, and testimony before
the Civil Rights Commission tell a completely different story.
By March 1999, four months after contracts had been signed,
DBT officials already had doubts about the state's ground rules.
According to testimony by ChoicePoint/DBT vice president George
Bruder, a person could be included on the list if his or her name,
date of birth and/or Social Security number closely approximated
that of a known felon. In other words, in a state with 16 million
people, where many individuals share approximate names and also
dates of birth, exact matches were not necessary.
In March of 1999, Thorogood expressed her doubts about those
guidelines in an e-mail to Mitchell: "Unfortunately, programming
in this fashion may supply you with false positives," she
said, referring to names of people who did not belong on the felons
list. "This seems to be the approach you would prefer to
choose, rather than miss any positive true matches." Mitchell
made the state's position clear in his answer to Thorogood on
March 23: "Obviously, we want to capture more names that
possibly aren't matches and let the supervisors [of elections]
make a final determination rather than exclude certain matches
altogether," Mitchell wrote. In other words, the lists were
designed to include people who were not felons, some of whom eventually
fell through the cracks and were unfairly purged.
When supervisors began to complain about errors, Bruder said
his company told the Divison of Elections that they were caused
by the loose parameters set by the search, but Mitchell ordered
no substantial change in the parameters despite recommendations
by DBT. "After submitting them they were not acted on by
the state," said James Lee, a spokesman for ChoicePoint/DBT.
In fact, the next year, as the presidential election approached,
the state asked that the parameters be loosened, according to
Lee. Instead of 90 percent of the letters in the name of a person
on the purge list having to match with those of someone on the
voting rolls, the standard was loosened to 80 percent. Although
such matches were often eliminated when Social Security numbers
or other data were also checked, such information was not always
available, and more innocent individuals were included on the
The state officials were not content to include only former
Florida prisoners. They also asked DBT to use its national databases
to provide the names of felons from other states who might have
moved to Florida and registered. But some of those came from the
thirty-six states that have automatic restoration of civil rights,
including the right to vote. More than 2,000 such individuals
were included on the state's purge lists. Following press and
public attention to the situation after the election, the state
quietly changed its policy.
In May 2000 the process went totally awry. Some 8,000 names,
mostly those of former Texas prisoners who were included on a
DBT list, turned out never to have been convicted of more than
a misdemeanor. The new elections director, Clay Roberts, later
claimed the error had been caught in time and that none of those
individuals lost their rights. But Mitchell admitted that other
lists of alleged felons supplied to DBT by the Florida Department
of Law Enforcement also contained errors, among them the inclusion
of many people convicted only of misdemeanors.
In time, an appeals process was instituted) but in some cases
it required ordinary citizens to be fingerprinted in order to
prove they weren't the felons they were accused of being. In the
end' out of 4,847 people who appealed, 2,430 were judged not to
be convicted felons. As Civil Rights Commission attorney Bernard
Quarterman put it during testimony in Miami on February 16, "They
were guilty until proven innocent."
Elections supervisors in the counties, who had never been
consulted about how to assemble the purge lists, battled with
the mandate from Tallahassee. "Our experience with the lists
is that they are frequently erroneous," Leon County Elections
Supervisor Ion Sancho testified before the Civil Rights Commission
in Tallahassee. Sancho said he was sent one list with 690 names
on it but after detailed checking by his office only thirty-three
people were sent letters asking them to prove their eligibility
In its assurances to the state before contracts were signed,
DBT promised, on August 14, 1998, that the lists would be checked,
including "telephonic verification of random records."
But this procedure was later omitted from contracts, and the state
never insisted that it be done. In fact, during one meeting between
Mitchell and county supervisors in 1999, Mitchell specifically
told supervisors not to try to contact listed individuals by phone,
but only by the legally required route of the mails. Many would-be
voters later said they had never received notification. "Mr.
Mitchell said we shouldn't call people on the phone, we should
send letters," said Linda Howell, supervisor for Madison
County in north Florida. "The best and fastest way to check
these matters was by phone, personal contact, but he didn't want
that." She added, "We shouldn't have had to do any of
this. Elections supervisors are not investigators, and we don't
have investigators. It wasn't our responsibility at all."
In his interview with The Nation, Mitchell offered this rationale
for the loose standards used in assembling the purge lists: "Just
as some people might have been removed from the list who shouldn't
have been, some voted who shouldn't have." In other words,
because an ineligible person may have voted somewhere else, it
was acceptable to deny a legitimate voter the right to vote. Mitchell
said the loose parameters employed to create the purge list were
approved by former head of the Division of Elections Ethel Baxter,
after consultation with Katherine Harris. Neither Baxter nor Harris
returned phone calls requesting comment.
The lists targeted black voters in extremely disproportionate
numbers. In Hillsborough County, which includes Tampa, where only
15 percent of voters are black, 54 percent of the names on the
purge list were African-Americans. In Miami-Dade, where blacks
make up 20 percent of the population, a list of 5,762 people contained
the names of 3,794 blacks, or 66 percent. In Leon County, which
includes Tallahassee, the state capital, 29 percent of the people
are black, but 55 percent of the purge list names were African-Americans.
In one Leon County case, the Rev. Willie David Whiting, a
black pastor from Tallahassee, arrived at his polling place to
find himself listed as a convicted felon; he was refused the right
to vote despite never having spent a day in jail. He says he had
never received notification of his disfranchisement. It turned
out that he had been confused with a Willie J. Whiting, whose
birthdate was two days away from his own, and was considered a
match due to a "derived" or approximate name and birthdate.
"I felt like I was sling-shotted back into slavery,"
Whiting testified to the civil rights panel. He said he was forced
to consider possible motives. "Does someone have a formula
for stealing this election?" he says he asked himself.
The Division of Elections and DBT were also sharing their
information, some of it false, with law enforcement agencies.
Whiting said he was relieved he had not been stopped "by
the wrong policeman" during the time he was incorrectly listed
as a convicted felon. "Who knows what would have happened?"
A Jacksonville resident, Richard Haywood, whose one felony marijuana
conviction in 1972 had been expunged from his record, suddenly
found himself not only on a purge list but also with the record
of his conviction released by the state to a school to which he
had applied for student aid. "I complied with the law and
my record was expunged'" said Haywood. "What they did
was violate the law by releasing that information, and they messed
with my life." Madison County Supervisor Howell agreed. "They
were not taking their job seriously," she said, referring
to state officials. "That could destroy a person's life."
It is impossible to know how many voters were unfairly kept
away from the voting booth because of the purge. Votes not cast
are not tallied. Some former prisoners who were notified they
were on the purge lists expressed interest in applying for clemency
and voting, but they were often faced with daunting amounts of
paperwork. For example, if they had been convicted in a different
county, they had to write away for certified copies of court records,
some of them decades old, and then apply to Tallahassee. "Some
of them had convictions in the 1940s and 1950s and had been voting
for years," said Larry Roxby, deputy elections supervisor
in Bay County.
Meanwhile, according to Roxby, the Office of Executive Clemency
in Tallahassee had a backlog of six months to a year. "I'd
say I had about sixty such people come to me over the past three
years, and only about three of them ever got their clemency,"
said Roxby. "Seven or eight out of ten were blacks."
Other supervisors reported similar instances of former prisoners
who had been active voters for years but who were discouraged
by the suddenly enforced clemency process. State law enforcement
officials later said that based on past voting records, only about
10 percent of former prisoners might be expected to vote. In a
highly contested election such as the one in 2000, that could
be expected to increase. But even if one uses the state's own
figures, out of 187,000 former prisoners who had completed parole
but had not received clemency, close to 20,000 might have voted
if they'd been permitted. State statisticians say, based on race
and economic factors, that group could be expected to vote Democratic
75 percent of the time.
But if purging was the most egregious form of disfranchisement-and
possibly the one deliberate attempt to reduce the Democratic vote-it
wasn't the only cause of the reduced vote total. An underfunded
elections system resulted in poor equipment being used in many
counties, and ill-trained and sometimes ill-informed poll workers
also kept voters from casting their ballots.
For months leading up to November 7, county supervisors had
been sending lists of newly registered voters to Tallahassee,
and it was clear that a large turnout could be expected, especially
in the black community. But Secretary of State Harris and Division
of Elections chief Clay Roberts testified that they never discussed
that fact and the problems that might arise. The result was chaos
at many polling places. Many eligible voters were turned away.
Testimony by poll workers before the Civil Rights Commission,
before an NAACP hearing in Miami on November 11 and interviews
by The Nation make it clear that such incidents occurred in every
corner of the state.
Some poll workers said dozens of people were not allowed to
vote at their polling places, while others remembered only a few.
But with some 6,000 polling places in the state, the numbers are
significant. The NAACP suit cites voters who registered in plenty
of time for the November 7 election, but whose names were never
placed on the rolls and who were not allowed to vote. Some names
of residents who took advantage of motor-voter legislation and
registered at the same time that they obtained licenses from the
Department of Motor Vehicles were not on voter rolls. Attempts
to reach the offices of supervisors to clarify voters' eligibility.
were foiled by clogged phone lines in many of Florida's sixty-seven
counties. Supervisors in some counties, obviously suspecting that
such problems might occur, provided laptop computers with which
poll workers could check central voter rolls. But only a small
percentage of precincts received the laptops, and almost none
were used in precincts that were majority black. In Miami-Dade,
for example, out of eighteen laptops, only one was used in a black
Some poll workers, faced with an unprecedented tide of complaints,
did their best to help. Others acted arbitrarily. The NAACP received
complaints of voters who were in line at polling places by the
7 PM closing time but were turned away without being allowed to
vote, which violates state guidelines. One Miami-Dade voter, Margarita
Green, 75, testified before the Civil Rights Commission that she
went to vote at her regular precinct but was not on the rolls.
A poll worker informed Green that she had been removed from the
rolls after she herself had called and requested it. "I never
made such a phone call," said Green. "And how could
they ever know it was really me who called? It makes no sense."
Some widows, who in decades past had shared the same Social
Security numbers as their now-deceased husbands, showed up on
lists of dead voters to be purged and therefore were informed
they couldn't vote. The law allows people not listed on the rolls
to vote by affidavit and then prove their eligibility later, but
many poll workers knew nothing of that law and turned voters away.
Similarly, a voter making an error on a ballot is entitled to
hand the ballot in and obtain a replacement, but those requests
were sometimes denied. Leaders of organizations for the disabled
also testified that some polling places were ill equipped to allow
them to vote.
An attorney for the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education
Fund testified to twenty-six specific incidents in the Orlando
area where Latino voters were either denied the right to vote
or were forced to argue with poll workers before they cast their
ballots. PRLDEF cited polling places that could not provide bilingual
ballots and had no bilingual poll workers to offer assistance,
as required by the Voting Rights Act in precincts with large minority
populations. The PRLDEF report said the problem may have disfranchised
up to several thousand Latino voters around the state. Marlene
Bastien, a Haitian leader from Miami, testified to similar problems
in Haitian neighborhoods, which she said may have left hundreds
of voters unable to cast ballots.
Black residents of southern Leon County complained of a Florida
Highway Patrol checkpoint on a road leading to a polling place
and said it amounted to harassment of black voters. Police authorities
later testified that the stops involved routine vehicle inspections
and pledged that no such checkpoints would be used on election
days in the future.
Of the 179,855 votes that were cast but later discarded-either
because they contained more than one vote for President or no
detectable vote-again it is impossible to know exactly how many
were cast by blacks, but statistics make it clear that African-Americans'
votes were lost at much higher rates than those of other ethnic
groups, involving tens of thousands of votes in total. Those statistics
are directly tied to the now infamous and error-prone punch-card
In four of the counties in the state with the largest black
populations-Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Duval-punchcard
systems are used. Some 100,000 votes were discarded in those counties,
more than half the discards in the state. According to a study
by the Miami Herald, eighteen out of the nineteen precincts in
the state with the highest rate of discards were majority-black
precincts, all of which used punch-card systems. Seventy percent
of Florida blacks were forced to use the punchcard system, a percentage
higher than other ethnic groups. Subsequently the NAACP sued state
officials to end the use of the punch-card system, which they
say is used disproportionately in black communities and amounts
to disfranchisement of tens of thousands of black voters.
During testimony before the Civil Rights Commission on January
11, Jeb Bush swore that he had no knowledge of or involvement
in the staging of elections in Florida. Bush passed the buck to
Katherine Harris, who also denied direct involvement in the polling
process. What is known is that $100,000 requested by county elections
supervisors for voter education-which would have helped voters
use the punch-card system and decipher confusing ballots- was
deleted from the Division of Elections budget.
Conservative Florida Democrats didn't do much better at overseeing
the electoral process. Bob Crawford, state agriculture secretary
and a member of the state Elections Canvassing Committee, testified
on January 12 that he had heard nothing about disfranchisement
of minorities on Election Day-this despite the fact that the NAACP
had made headlines with a day-long hearing in Miami on November
11 about such irregularities.
The Florida Elections Commission, a state body charged with
investigating voting irregularities, reported to the Civil Rights
Commission in January that it had done no investigating because
no formal complaint had been received, despite the public clamor
On November 16, in the midst of the outcry over the butterfly
ballot, the Palm Beach Post quoted Florida House Speaker Tom Feeney,
a Republican, as saying, "Voter confusion is not a reason
for whining or crying or having a revote. It may be a reason to
require literacy tests." Literacy tests for the purpose of
screening voters are, of course, unconstitutional.
Although they deny they did anything wrong themselves, these
Florida leaders have said they will fix what is wrong with the
Florida electoral system. The NAACP, however, is not convinced.
Its suit demands that federal examiners oversee elections in specific
counties in Florida for the next ten years, including the next
two presidential contests, so that another election isn't hijacked.
John Lantigua shared the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative
Reporting for his work at the Miami Herald on voter fraud.