Florida Will Not Use Disputed
List of Felons in Election
MIAMI -- Florida elections officials said Saturday they will not use a disputed list that was designed to keep felons from voting, acknowledging a flaw that could have allowed convicted Hispanic felons to cast ballots in November.
The glitch in a state that President Bush won by 537 votes could have been significant. Because of the state's sizable Cuban population, Hispanics in Florida have tended to vote Republican more than Hispanics nationally. The list had about 28,000 Democrats and around 9,500 Republicans, with most of the rest unaffiliated.
The problem in compiling the list was unintentional and unforeseen, said Nicole de Lara, a spokeswoman for Secretary of State Glenda Hood.
"Nevertheless, Supervisors of Elections are required to uphold their constitutional obligation" and will find other ways to ensure felons are removed from the rolls, Hood said in a statement.
Florida is one of only a handful of states that do not automatically restore voting rights to convicted felons once they have completed their sentences.
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-- From News Services