For any of you that, like myself, still find time in your busy schedules to wax/harp philosophic about the supreme cluster**** that was the 2000 election, you need to read this. Is it a rehash? Damn right, but certain issues need to be rehashed again and again and again, if only so that the populace doesn't forget that it was screwed during that November.
Check this out. In months leading up to the November election, FL Secretary of State Catherine Harris, with the assistance and approval of Governer Jeb Bush, instructed local election supervisors to purge over 57,000 voters from the registries, all of them supposedly (the operative word here) ex-cons who weren't allowed to vote within the state.
At LEAST 90% of those people were innocent; and by "innocent," I don't mean inmates that were later proven to be without guilt, but that those 90% were never cons to begin with. What's more, over 54% of those purged were either African American or Hispanic.
Cut to 2002. President Bush signs into effect the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), an initiative that not only lionizes those purges, but required that all 50 states put similar measures into effect. Its anyone's guess as to whether or not John Kerry would have had a chance anyway (let's face it...I voted for him, but the guy did kind of remind me of a backwoods Lurch), but those practices were put into effect during the 2004 election as well.
Following the initial purge, NAACP lawyers (in admittedly one of their only legitimate causes of the past few years) sued the state, after which Harris and Bush promised to return the voters to the registries. The sum total of these previously purged individuals was over 91,000.
In one such case, an African American man named Willie Steen was taken off, simply because of the unfortunate similarity of his name to an inmate "O'Steen."
Want some more stats? In Gadsden County, which is 58% black, there is an extremely high "spoiler" rate on ballots: one out of every eight is cast, but not counted. Right next door in white-majority Leon County, the spoiler rate is only 1 out of every 500. Hell of a coincidence.
Florida's electorate is 11 percent African-American. Florida refused to count 179,855 spoiled ballots. A little junior high school algebra applied to commission numbers indicates that 54 percent, or 97,000, of the votes "spoiled" were cast by black folk, of whom more than 90 percent chose Gore. The nonblack vote divided about evenly between Gore and Bush. Therefore, had Harris allowed the counting of these ballots, Al Gore would have racked up a plurality of about 87,000 votes in Florida--162 times Bush's official margin of victory.
In the 2000 election, 1.9 million national votes cast were never counted. Spoiled for technical reasons, like writing in Gore's name, machine malfunctions and so on. The reasons for ballot rejection vary, but there's a suspicious shading to the ballots tossed into the dumpster. Edley's team of Harvard experts discovered that just as in Florida, the number of ballots spoiled was--county by county, precinct by precinct--in direct proportion to the local black voting population.
"Living in America...unh, I FEEL GOOD!"
In case you want a source: http://www.thenation.com/doc/20040517/palast