As many as 3,750 convicted felons may have illegally voted for Gore in Florida.  Palm Beach County refused to purge convicted felons from their voter roles.

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As many as 75% of illegal 'felon' votes cast in Florida were cast by registered Democrats.

Hundreds of felons cast votes illegally (12/1/00 - The Miami Herald)

STORY:   "Since 1868, it has been illegal for felons to cast ballots in Florida.

          "At least 445 Florida felons voted illegally on Nov. 7, casting another cloud over a disputed presidential election already mired in legal challenges, a Herald investigation has found.

          "The tainted votes -- found in a review of nearly half a million votes cast in 12 Florida counties -- provide evidence that the presidential race was influenced by thousands of ineligible voters.  Nearly six million voters in Florida's 67 counties cast ballots.

Two Key Counties:   "The majority of the illegal votes -- 330 -- were cast in Palm Beach and Duval counties, which decided not to participate in the statewide effort this year to purge felons, dead people and double registrants from the rolls ... most other counties -- including Miami-Dade and Broward" followed state law in deleting thousands of ineligible voters (felons and dead people) from the voter rolls.

Story Key Points:

  • The study included about 12% of all FL votes.
  • 75% of the felons who voted were registered Democrats.
  • If the trend is extrapolated statewide, over 3,750 Florida felons may have illegally voted for Al Gore.
  • Palm Beach County refused to purge felons from its voter roles as required by Florida law.

Additional Background:  These are the people police were not permitting to vote.   The police were not, as the NAACP has irresponsibly charged, keeping black voters from voting.

On election night, due to complaints of long lines at the polls, police asked voters to show some ID.  If their name appeared on the felons' list, the police told them they could not vote -- which is the law in Florida.

Legal Challenges:   "The lapses in Palm Beach and Duval counties could become significant if Democrats win any of their legal challenges and take the narrow lead away from Republican Texas Gov. George W. Bush.  Nearly 75 percent of the illegal ballots discovered by The Herald were cast by registered Democrats.

          "The votes could be seized upon by the Bush campaign to argue that a large number of illegal votes were probably cast for his opponent, outweighing the effect of any recount.  ``It's a very powerful argument,'' said Robert Jarvis, a law professor at Nova Southeastern University.

          "Since 1868, it has been illegal for felons to cast ballots in Florida ... The provision has prompted a federal lawsuit by civil rights groups who allege it is discriminatory against blacks.

          "The Herald found 62 robbers, 56 drug dealers, 45 killers, 16 rapists and seven kidnappers who cast ballots. At least two who voted are pictured on the state's online registry of sexual offenders.

          "The Herald review included counties where voter lists could be obtained -- about 8 percent of the 5.9 million votes cast on Nov. 7.  It encompassed all votes cast in Palm Beach and Pasco counties, most votes cast in Duval County, and only absentee votes in Miami-Dade, Broward, Lee, Leon, Hillsborough, Clay and the Panhandle counties of Escambia, Okaloosa and Bay.

          "To find felony voters, The Herald compared a list of voters in those counties with a Department of Corrections database listing felons who had served at least a year in prison.  If the pattern found in the study is the same statewide, more than 5,000 felons likely cast illegal ballots."

(Excerpted from the Miami Times story 12/1/00 by Times reporters David Kidwell, Phil Long, and Geoff Dougherty.)

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