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News Voting Rights Thursday, Oct 8 2015

Jeb! Doesn't Support Reauthorizing VRA, Continues Support of Disenfranchisement

Oct 08, 2015

Jeb Bush made clear that he fully reversed course on his “lose the primary to win the general” strategy, coming out against re-authorization of the Voting Rights Act at a forum in Des Moines this morning. Calling it an antiquated and out-dated policy, Bush is appealing to the elements in the Republican Party that seek electoral gain through putting up barriers to the ballot box. It’s an indefensible position, but not exactly a surprise considering Jeb’s long history of support for disenfranchising Floridians and Americans generally.


Watch the clip below:


…and read up Jeb’s record on voting rights. Low-lights include:


  • U.S. Commission On Civil Rights Condemned Florida’s Barriers To Voting For African-Americans During 2000 Election
  • Commission Issued Report: Black Ballots Thrown Out More Often Than White
  • Commission Accused Bush Of Ignoring Racial Voting Problems, Called For DOJ Investigation Under Voting Rights Act
  • Bush’s Policies Set Off A New Wave Of Voter Disenfranchisement Across The Country
  • Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Secretary Of State Katherine Harris Instituted Systemic Electoral Roll Purge That Erroneously Marked Thousands As Felons, Barred Them From Voting
  • 2000 Election, Florida Hired Outside Contractor ChoicePoint To Cleanse Voters Rolls Of Felons, Resulting In Significant Illegal Disenfranchisement
  • Bush Argued That States Should Be Allowed To Implement Voter Identification Laws


Voting Rights


NAACP Class Action Lawsuit

2001: NAACP Claimed In Class-Action Lawsuit Against Florida That “Caused A Disproportionate Number Of Ballots Cast By Black Voters” Were Invalidated In 2000 Election. According to USA TODAY, “Voting irregularities in Florida in the presidential election caused a disproportionate number of ballots cast by black voters to be invalidated, the NAACP claims in a class-action lawsuit filed Wednesday. The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Miami, seeks a variety of voting reforms and technological improvements to ensure that irregularities that occurred Nov. 7 are not repeated.” [USA TODAY, 1/11/01]

  • 2001: Jeb Bush Named As Defendant In NAACP Lawsuit.According to USA TODAY, “Theodore Shaw, a lawyer for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, said the Voting Rights Act does not require the plaintiffs to prove that Florida officials intentionally sought to deny black voters their vote. Named as defendants are: Florida Gov. Jeb Bush; Secretary of State Katherine Harris; election supervisors in seven counties; and Choicepoint, Inc., a Georgia firm hired by Florida state officials to purge felons and other ineligible names from voter registration lists. In the election aftermath, county election officials conceded that eligible voters were purged from the lists erroneously.” [USA TODAY, 1/11/01]

U.S. Commission On Civil Rights Cited Condemned Florida’s Barriers To Voting For African-Americans During 2000 Election

U.S. Commission On Civil Rights Chairperson Berry, 2001: “I Am Deeply Troubled By Our Preliminary Review” Of Florida. According to The Houston Chronicle, “The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, citing ‘significant and distressing’ barriers to voting during last year’s presidential election in Florida, said Friday it will return to the state this summer to find out what officials have done to remedy the problems. ‘I am deeply troubled by our preliminary review, and I’m upset about the way this is going down there, with nothing happening,’ said commission Chairwoman Mary Frances Berry. ‘I want to get some movement on this.’ Berry faxed a letter to Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, President Bush’s brother, on Thursday afternoon, criticizing what she considers his lack of action and threatening to return to Florida to check his progress.” [Houston Chronicle, 3/10/01]

2001: U.S. Commission On Civil Rights Adopted Preliminary Status Statement Citing Florida’s “Numerous Potential Violations Of The Federal Voting Rights Act.” According to The Houston Chronicle, “On Friday, over heated objections from two conservative commissioners, the group voted 6-2 to adopt Berry’s preliminary status statement, which cites numerous potential violations of the federal Voting Rights Act. The commission voted unanimously to return to Florida to hold follow-up hearings once the group publishes its final report in June.” [Houston Chronicle, 3/10/01]

Commission on Civil Rights Report, 2001: Court Election Supervisors Faulted For Florida’s Voting Rights Failures, But Did Not Have Adequate Resources.According to The Houston Chronicle, “The report also faults county election supervisors, who are directly responsible for overseeing elections in Florida’s 67 counties. ‘The reason the county supervisors are responsible is because they did not have adequate resources to serve the voters who were coming,’ Mary Frances Berry, the commission chairwoman, said Tuesday.” [Houston Chronicle, 3/10/01]

U.S. Commission On Civil Rights Chairperson Berry, 2001: Jeb Bush Failed To Take Action To Secure Voting Rights, And “If You Have A Duty To Do Something And You Do Not Do It, Then You’re Violating The Voting Rights Act.” According to The Houston Chronicle, “‘The reason the county supervisors are responsible is because they did not have adequate resources to serve the voters who were coming,’ Mary Frances Berry, the commission chairwoman, said Tuesday. ‘What you had in Ms. [Secretary of State Katherine] Harris and Jeb Bush was them not taking any actions. If you have a duty to do something and you do not do it, then you’re violating the Voting Rights Act.’ In Tallahassee, Bush’s general counsel, Charles Canady, said the report ‘grossly mischaracterizes’ Bush’s role in overseeing elections.” [Houston Chronicle, 3/10/01]

Jeb Bush Claimed No Evidence Existed Of Discrimination

2001: Jeb Bush Responded To Commission Preliminary Statement, Claiming Lack Of “Evidence Of Intentional Discrimination” In Florida. According to The Houston Chronicle, “Jeb Bush issued a two-paragraph written response late Friday, saying the commission’s statement confirms that the group ‘has yet to be presented with any evidence of intentional discrimination’ in the Florida election.” [Houston Chronicle, 3/10/01]

2001: Berry Praised Florida’s Bush-Approved Voting Reforms, But Added “They Have Not Solved All The Problems.” According to The Houston Chronicle, “The Florida Legislature has since adopted election reforms, which Bush has approved. Berry praised the reforms, but added, ‘They have not solved all the problems.’” [Houston Chronicle, 3/10/01]

Commission Issued Report: Black Ballots Thrown Out More Often Than White

Commission Report, 2001: “Ballots Cast By African-Americans And Other Minorities In Florida Last Year Were Rejected As Faulty At A Higher Rate Than Those Cast By Whites.” According to St. Petersburg Times, “The commission’s analysis indicates ballots cast by African-Americans and other minorities in Florida last year were rejected as faulty at a higher rate than those cast by whites. It said there was no evidence of fraud.” [St. Petersburg Times, 6/9/01]

Commission Report, 2001: “African-Americans Make Up Only 11 Percent Of Florida’s Voters, […] But They Cast 54 Percent Of The Spoiled Ballots.” According to St. Petersburg Times, “The panel relied primarily on spoiled ballots to make its case. African-Americans make up only 11 percent of Florida’s voters, the report said, but they cast 54 percent of the spoiled ballots. It said the counties with the lowest spoilage rate were those with the highest percentage of whites.” [St. Petersburg Times, 6/9/01]

Under Voting Rights Act, Disenfranchised Groups Only Not Have To Prove Outcome Showed Bias, Not That The Government Officials Acted Intentionally To Disenfranchise. According to St. Petersburg Times, “To justify a complaint of racial discrimination under the Voting Rights Act, minorities and handicapped people do not have to prove that government officials acted intentionally to disenfranchise them. All they must prove is that the outcome showed evidence of bias.” [St. Petersburg Times, 6/9/01]

2001: Commission Chairman Mary Frances Berry Said 2000 Presidential Election In Florida “Reminded Her Of The Days Before The Voting Rights Act When Election Officials Told Her Grandmother” She Could Not Prove Anything. According to St. Petersburg Times, “Commission Chairman Mary Frances Berry, an African-American who openly supported Al Gore for president, said critics reminded her of the days before the Voting Rights Act when election officials told her grandmother when she was disenfranchised: ‘You can’t prove we intended to do anything to you.’” [St. Petersburg Times, 6/9/01]

Commission Accused Bush Of Ignoring Racial Voting Problems, Called For DOJ Investigation Under Voting Rights Act

St. Petersburg Times, 2001: U.S. Commission On Civil Rights Decided “There Is Enough Evidence Of Racial Discrimination In Florida’s Presidential Election To Warrant A Justice Department Inquiry.” According to St. Petersburg Times, “With Republican appointees dissenting, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights decided Friday there is enough evidence of racial discrimination in Florida’s presidential election to warrant a Justice Department inquiry.” [St. Petersburg Times, 6/9/01]

  • Commission “Called For An Investigation Under The 1965 Voting Rights Act.” According to St. Petersburg Times, “It called for an investigation under the 1965 Voting Rights Act.” [St. Petersburg Times, 6/9/01]


  • Commission “Accused Gov. Jeb Bush And Secretary Of State Katherine Harris Of Ignoring Problems.”According to St. Petersburg Times, “While it also found ‘no conclusive evidence that the highest officials of the state conspired to disenfranchise voters,’ the commission accused Gov. Jeb Bush and Secretary of State Katherine Harris of ignoring problems.” [St. Petersburg Times, 6/9/01]

Bush Responded To Commission Report

2001: Jeb Bush Called Report Partisan, “Meaningless And Divisive Finger Pointing.” According to The Star-Ledger, “The report said Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Secretary of State Katherine Harris ignored warning signs of problems and pleas for help from county officials. Bush and Harris responded earlier this week that they felt the commission report was the work of a partisan group. The commission has four Democrats, three independents and one Republican. Harris said the commission has recognized that ‘Florida has addressed many of the commission’s concerns through landmark election reforms.’ Bush observed: ‘The time for meaningless and divisive finger pointing over last year’s election is over. It’s time to move on.’” [Star-Ledger, 6/9/01]

Report Became Political Issue Leading Up To 2002 Governor’s Race

Jeb Bush On Commission Report’s Accusations Of Racial Bias In Throwing Out Ballots, 2001: “I Know Of No Case Where That Actually Happened.” According to St. Petersburg Times, “Gov. Jeb Bush said he was unaware of the Justice allegations. ‘I know of no case where that actually happened,’ Bush said. ‘I know there were some accusations made and a lot of investigations.’ Democrats were delighted at the prospect that the Bush Justice Department is lending new credibility to their longstanding allegations about a tainted election.” [St. Petersburg Times, 6/9/01]

Jeb Bush Became Object Of International Derision For Supposedly Delivering Election For His Brother

2001: British Tory Leader Resigned After Electoral Loss, Joked “Where’s Jeb Bush When You Need Him?” According to SUNDAY SUTELEAPH, “The first fingers of dawn light were reaching into the sky as William Hague climbed into his Lear jet on Friday morning, took out his pen and began to write his resignation speech. With a small entourage of his closest advisers and his wife, Ffion, sharing the cramped compartment, the Tory leader sat lost in private thoughts as the plane climbed from Teesside airport and headed south for London. ‘I wish I could have led you to victory,’ he wrote on a sheet of paper. ‘No individual is more important than their party.’ […]Many said later it was his finest performance. Mr Hague did not tell the tearful staff that he had already decided to resign. According to one staff member, he was already ‘as close as he has ever come to breaking down’. Nevertheless, to their delight, he managed several jokes to leaven the mood. ‘Where’s Jeb Bush when you need him?’ he grinned, a reference to his friend, the Florida state governor, who was accused of gerrymandering in last year’s US presidential elections to help his brother, George W Bush.” [SUNDAY SUTELEAPH, 6/10/01]


Florida Increasingly Alone In Automatically Denying Felons Right To Vote

2001: Florida “One Of 13 States That Automatically Denies The Right To Vote To All Residents Who Have Ever Been Convicted Of A Felony.” According to Orlando Sentinel, “Florida is one of 13 states that automatically denies the right to vote to all residents who have ever been convicted of a felony. Civil-justice groups are suing in federal and state court over the policy, claiming in part that it disproportionately affects blacks.” [Orlando Sentinel, 6/14/01]

2004: “Florida Is One Of Only Seven States That Denies The Right To Vote To All Felons.” According to Orlando Sentinel, “Florida is one of only seven states that denies the right to vote to all felons. Critics say the current process of restoring rights is difficult and unfair and have sued the state regarding it.” [Orlando Sentinel, 12/10/04]

2007: Florida One Of Three States To Automatically Deny Ex-Felons Voting Rights. According to USA TODAY, “Florida was one of three U.S. states, along with Kentucky and Virginia, that required ex-felons to take action to restore their civil rights no matter how long they had been out of prison. Other states have waiting periods before restoration, though most restore rights automatically when felons complete their sentence.” [USA TODAY, 4/5/07]

2000: Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Secretary Of State Katherine Harris Instituted Systemic Electoral Roll Purge That Erroneously Marked Thousands As Felons, Barred Them From Voting

2000: Jeb Bush, Florida Secretary Of State Katherine Harris “Launched A Systematic Purge Of The Electoral Rolls” To Exclude “Unknown Thousands Of Voters On The Erroneous Grounds That They Were Convicted Felons.” According to The Guardian, “Florida’s Republican secretary of state, Katherine Harris, backed by Mr Bush’s brother, Florida’s governor, Jeb Bush, launched a systematic purge of the electoral rolls earlier this year. The result was the exclusion of unknown thousands of voters on the erroneous grounds that they were convicted felons; because they had allegedly not voted in previous elections; because they had moved home; or because officials were told to impose stringent polling-day identity checks, while lacking the time to conduct them properly.” [Guardian, 12/4/00]

Joan Smith Op-Ed: During 2000 Election, “Thousands Of Black Voters In Florida Were Disenfranchised By The State’s Use Of An Inaccurate List Of Ex-Convicts To Remove Their Names From The Electoral Register.” In a Independent on Sunday op-ed Joan Smith wrote, “Thousands of black voters in Florida were disenfranchised by the State’s use of an inaccurate list of ex-convicts to remove their names from the electoral register. The mess was a family affair, with the commission pointing the finger of blame unequivocally at the President’s brother, Governor Jeb Bush, whom it accused of ‘gross dereliction’ of duty. The number of people denied the right to vote because they were wrongly recorded as felons was far more significant in winning Florida for George W than the contested ballot papers that grabbed the headlines.” [Independent on Sunday, 6/10/01]

St. Petersburg Times: “During The Disputed 2000 Presidential Election, Thousands Of People Were Barred From Voting After They Were Mistakenly Identified As Felons. Many Were Black.” According to St. Petersburg Times, “During the disputed 2000 presidential election, thousands of people were barred from voting after they were mistakenly identified as felons. Many were black.” [St. Petersburg Times, 6/10/02]

News-Press: “It Became Apparent” During The November 2000 Election That “Florida’s Botched Efforts To Remove Felons From The Voting Rolls Hurt Blacks More Than Whites.” According to The News-Press, “Democrats seized on black distrust in the November 2000 presidential elections, when it became apparent Florida’s botched efforts to remove felons from the voting rolls hurt blacks more than whites.” [News-Press, 2/16/03]

Mary McNamara Op-Ed, 2001: “Jeb Bush May Have Indeed Been Involved In The Proceedings Despite Publicly Recusing Himself.” In a Los Angeles Times op-ed Mary McNamara, Times Staff Writer wrote, “But Miller’s point that we don’t know yet what happened and what it will mean seems prescient. Revelations regarding the election proceedings continue to be made–that many of the overseas ballots were counted despite postmarks past the deadline and other discrepancies, that some Florida voters may have been erroneously listed as convicted felons and stripped of their right to vote, that Florida Gov. Jeb Bush may have indeed been involved in the proceedings despite publicly recusing himself. News outlets that continued to recount those ballots with chad issues conjectured that Bush likely would have won the state. Those recounts did not take into consideration any other alleged irregularities.” [Los Angeles Times, 8/22/01]

Problem Blamed On Computer, ID Glitches

Orlando Sentinel, 2001: No One Updated Clemency Board Computers After Department Of Corrections Added Letters To Inmate IDs, “So Names Of These Inmates Were Not Passed To The Clemency Board.” According to Orlando Sentinel, “For years, the DOC has collected and forwarded the names of all felons who complete their sentences to the clemency office, where it would be determined whether they qualified for restoration of civil rights without a hearing. But in 1995, the department began adding letters to identification numbers it assigns felons. No one updated the computer program so it could ‘see’ inmates with letters in their ID numbers, so names of these inmates were not passed to the clemency board.” [Orlando Sentinel, 6/15/01]

Orlando Sentinel, 2001: “The Computer Also Relied On The Wrong Criteria To Exclude Felons From Automatic Consideration, And Prison Officials Often Failed To Have Departing Inmates Fill Out The Necessary Paperwork.” According to Orlando Sentinel, “There were other complications: The computer also relied on the wrong criteria to exclude felons from automatic consideration, and prison officials often failed to have departing inmates fill out the necessary paperwork to get the restoration process rolling. Bush’s office discovered the glitches, which were recently corrected, after ordering the first-ever comprehensive review of clemency last year.” [Orlando Sentinel, 6/15/01]

For 2000 Election, Florida Hired Outside Contractor ChoicePoint To Cleanse Determine Voters Rolls Of Felons, Resulting In Significant Illegal Disenfranchisement

Florida Signed Unprecedented, $4 Million Contract With Outside Company To “Cleanse” Voter Rolls

1998: Florida Signed $4 Million Contract With ChoicePoint’s DBT Online To Cleanse Voter Rolls. According to Salon, “Florida is the only state that pays a private company that promises to ‘cleanse’ voter rolls. The state signed in 1998 a $4 million contract with DBT Online, since merged into ChoicePoint, of Atlanta. The creation of the scrub list, called the central voter file, was mandated by a 1998 state voter fraud law, which followed a tumultuous year that saw Miami’s mayor removed after voter fraud in the election, with dead people discovered to have cast ballots. The voter fraud law required all 67 counties to purge voter registries of duplicate registrations, deceased voters and felons, many of whom, but not all, are barred from voting in Florida.” [Salon, 12/4/00]

2000: Florida Was “Only State In The Nation To Contract The First Stage Of Removal Of Voting Rights To A Private Company.” According to Salon, Florida is the only state in the nation to contract the first stage of removal of voting rights to a private company. And ChoicePoint has big plans. ‘Given the outcome of our work in Florida,’ says Fagan, ‘and with a new president in place, we think our services will expand across the country.’” [Salon, 12/4/00]

ChoicePoint’s Cleansed List Heavily Weighted With African-Americans, Contained Thousands Of Incorrect Entries, Possibly Changed Outcome Of 2000 Presidential Election

ChoicePoint’s Subsidiary Database Technologies “Ended Up Wrongly Leading To The Disenfranchising Of Thousands Of Voters, Whose Votes Might Have Led To A Different Result” For 2000 Presidential Election. According to The Guardian, “ChoicePoint, though, which is based near Atlanta, is far from unfamiliar to observers of the Florida vote of 2000 that decided the US presidency in George Bush’s favour. Its subsidiary Database Technologies was hired by the state to overhaul its electoral registration lists – and ended up wrongly leading to the disenfranchising of thousands of voters, whose votes might have led to a different result.” [Guardian, 5/5/03]

ChoicePoint’s List “Was Heavily Weighted With African-Americans,” “Contained Thousands Of Incorrect Entries, Imperiling Legal Registrants.”  According to, “The company’s list of alleged ex-felons, circulated to county voting officials, was heavily weighted with African-Americans. Later it turned out the list was unverified and contained thousands of incorrect entries, imperiling legal registrants.” [, 12/19/00]

ChoicePoint Board Held Republican Connections

2000: ChoicePoint’s Company Director Ken Lagone Chaired Fundraising Committee “For New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s Aborted Run Against Hillary Rodham Clinton.” According to Salon, “ChoicePoint’s board and executive roster are packed with Republican stars, including billionaire Ken Langone, a company director who was chairman of the fund-raising committee for New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s aborted run against Hillary Rodham Clinton.” [Salon, 12/4/00]

2000: ChoicePoint Board Included Giuliani Associate Former New York Police Commissioner Howard Safir. According to Salon, “Langone is joined at ChoicePoint by another Giuliani associate, former New York Police Commissioner Howard Safir.” [Salon, 12/4/00]

2000: “Republican Power Lobbyist And Former Congressman” Vin Weber Lobbied For ChoicePoint In Washington. According to Salon, “And Republican power lobbyist and former congressman Vin Weber lobbies for ChoicePoint in Washington. ” [Salon, 12/4/00]

1998: Former President Of ChoicePoint’s CDB InfoTek Rick Rozar Contributed $100,000 To Republican Party. According to Salon, “Just before his death in 1998, Rick Rozar, president of a Choicepoint company, CDB Infotek, donated $100,000 to the Republican Party.” [Salon, 12/4/00]

ChoicePoint Faced Legal Trouble After 2000 Election Failures

2001 NAACP Lawsuit Also Targeted ChoicePoint. According to USA TODAY, “Named as defendants are: Florida Gov. Jeb Bush; Secretary of State Katherine Harris; election supervisors in seven counties; and Choicepoint, Inc., a Georgia firm hired by Florida state officials to purge felons and other ineligible names from voter registration lists. In the election aftermath, county election officials conceded that eligible voters were purged from the lists erroneously.” [USA TODAY, 1/11/01]

ChoicePoint Reached Settlement With State, Counties Over 2000 Election Failures. According to The Associated Press, “Florida and five counties have reached a deadlock with civil rights groups who sued over the bitterly disputed 2000 presidential election, attorneys told a judge Tuesday. […] Settlements have been reached with Broward and Leon counties and Choicepoint Inc., a Georgia company that helped Florida develop a list for stripping people thought to be convicted felons from voting rolls. Settlement papers with Choicepoint haven’t yet been filed.” [Associated Press, 6/25/02]

2000: 820,000 Florida Ex-Felons Prohibited From Voting, Including 31 Percent Of All Florida’s Black Men

Sentencing Project: Florida Had 820,000 Felons Who Could Not Vote In 2000. According to The Associated Press State & Local Wire, “The issue of disenfranchisement escalated in Florida after the 2000 presidential election, which was decided by fewer than 600 votes there. With more than 820,000 felons who could not vote as of 2000, according to the Sentencing Project, Florida has the largest disenfranchised population of any state. After the election, ‘whether you were on one side or another, it was pretty eye-opening just how delicate the situation is,’ said Monifa Bandele, field director for Right to Vote, a coalition of national groups.” [Associated Press State & Local Wire, 6/21/05]

Salon, 2000: In Florida, “31 Percent Of All Black Men Cannot Vote Because Of A Ban On Felons.” According to Salon, “In the process, however, the list invariably targets a minority population in Florida, where 31 percent of all black men cannot vote because of a ban on felons. In compiling a list by looking at felons from other states, Florida could, in the process, single out citizens who committed felons in other states but, after serving their time or successfully petitioning the courts, had their voting rights returned to them. According to Florida law, felons can vote once their voting rights have been reinstated.” [Salon, 12/4/00]

2001: Bush, Florida Board Of Clemency Sued By Former Felons For Right To Vote

2001: Lawyers Won Right “To Sue Gov. Jeb Bush And The Rest Of The State Clemency Board On Behalf Of The Thousands Of Former Felons In Florida Who Are Barred From Voting.” According to Orlando Sentinel, “Lawyers won the right Friday to sue Gov. Jeb Bush and the rest of the state clemency board on behalf of the thousands of former felons in Florida who are barred from voting. U.S. District Judge James L. King ruled that all ex-cons living in Florida will be considered plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit seeking to overturn state laws prohibiting them from voting. In other words, if the eight former felons who filed the civil-rights suit win, all members of the class win, too.” [Orlando Sentinel, 2/3/01]

2001 Felon Voting Rights Lawsuit Filed “Well Before The Presidential Election Fiasco.” According to Orlando Sentinel, “The lawsuit, filed well before the presidential election fiasco, alleges that the state originally adopted the voting ban during the Civil War era to discriminate against former slaves, and that it continues to discriminate against blacks today.” [Orlando Sentinel, 2/3/01]

2001: Under Florida Law, All Felons Barred From Voting For Life “Unless They Successfully Apply To The Clemency Board.” According to Orlando Sentinel, “Under Florida law, all former felons are automatically barred from voting for life unless they successfully apply to the clemency board for a restoration of their civil rights. Many ex-offenders, however, are not even eligible to apply. They include people who have more than two felony convictions or who owe penalties, court costs or other debts exceeding $1,000.” [Orlando Sentinel, 2/3/01]

2001 Felon Voting Rights Lawsuit Argued “That The State Originally Adopted The Voting Ban During The Civil War Era To Discriminate Against Former Slaves.” According to Orlando Sentinel, “The lawsuit, filed well before the presidential election fiasco, alleges that the state originally adopted the voting ban during the Civil War era to discriminate against former slaves, and that it continues to discriminate against blacks today. About 15 percent of the ex-felons disenfranchised by the law are black men, the suit alleges. ‘I think it is one of the single most important issues facing the state,’ said Howard Simon, executive director of the Florida chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.” [Orlando Sentinel, 2/3/01]

2001: Jeb Bush’s Lawyers Argued The Number Of Ex-Felons Barred From Voting “Much Lower Than The 500,000 Cited By Opponents.” According to St. Petersburg Times, “However, lawyers for Gov. Jeb Bush’s office have argued that the number of people who can’t vote because of the law is much lower than the 500,000 cited by opponents.” [St. Petersburg Times, 2/19/01]

2001: Democrats Made Felon Disenfranchising Fundraising Issue

2001: Democrats Raised Money In In “Out-Of-State Campaign” Focusing On Jeb Bush’s “Massive Disenfranchising Of Voters.” According to The Associated Press State & Local Wire, “Democrats have said since George W. Bush gained the White House in Florida’s disputed election that they’d press hard for out-of-state cash to try to oust his brother, Jeb Bush, as governor in 2002. […] The out-of-state campaign is expected to focus on what Democrats claim was a massive disenfranchising of voters, such as people who said they weren’t allowed to vote because they were wrongly purged from the rolls as felons. They contend that even if it wasn’t orchestrated, it was allowed to happen by the Jeb Bush administration.” [Associated Press State & Local Wire, 6/1/01]

2001: Bush Eased Rules Denying Felons Right To Vote

2001: Jeb Bush Told NAACP President He Was “Sympathetic” To Restoring Felon Voting Rights. According to The Miami Herald, “Gov. Jeb Bush told state NAACP President Adora Obi Nweze Thursday that he was ‘sympathetic’ to restoring felons’ voting rights when they finish their prison sentences. The governor is reviewing the felon vote ban, spokeswoman Elizabeth Hirst said. ‘We want to be sure the governor is sensitive to the fact, and he’s sensitive,’ Nweze said. ‘He might do absolutely nothing; we have to wait and see.’” [Miami Herald, 3/9/01]

2001: Jeb Bush, Cabinet Eased Process For Felons To Restore Their Voting Rights. According to Orlando Sentinel, “Gov. Jeb Bush and the Cabinet made it easier Thursday for some convicted felons to regain their voting privileges, admitting that state errors in just the past three years locked out more than 14,000 former prisoners from the process to restore their civil rights. The governor and Cabinet, sitting as the executive clemency board, approved two rule changes they hope will speed the process for Floridians who served their time. Only 798 felons won back civil rights last year, compared with an all-time high of almost 16,000 in 1986. ‘The goal is to streamline the system,’ said Bush, who proposed the changes, ‘to make it easier for certain people to have their rights restored, which is different from a full pardon.’” [Orlando Sentinel, 6/15/01]

2001: Bush’s Restoration Measure “Well Short Of Automatic Restoration Of Voting Rights.” According to Orlando Sentinel, “Concerned that too many deserving felons are being denied the right to vote, Gov. Jeb Bush is expected to propose new rules today making it easier for some of them to cast a ballot. The proposed measure stops well short of automatic restoration of voting rights, but the handful of changes to be considered could bring hundreds of people back onto the voting rolls.” [Orlando Sentinel, 6/14/01]

2001: New Rule Allowed Felons Who Owed More Than $1,000 In Court Costs To Apply For Restoration Of Voting Rights. According to Orlando Sentinel, “One of the changes, Snurkowski said, would allow felons who have served their time to regain the right to vote even if they still owe more than $1,000 in court costs, including attorney’s fees. That financial threshold, which civil-rights advocates condemn as a modern-day poll tax, has hurt many otherwise eligible people.” [Orlando Sentinel, 6/14/01]

2001: New Rule Allowed Certain Felons To Regain Voting Rights Without Going To Board Of Clemency Hearing. According to St. Petersburg Times, “The rules passed unanimously by Bush and the Cabinet affect people who have served their time, are non-violent and aren’t classified as a habitual offenders. Those felons will be able to get their civil rights restored, including voting rights, without having to go to a hearing of the state’s Executive Board of Clemency, a cumbersome and lengthy process.” [St. Petersburg Times, 6/15/01]

Miami Herald Editorial: In 2001, Jeb Bush “Untangled Application Process.” In a The Miami Herald op-ed Herald Staff wrote, “Last year, Gov. Jeb Bush took the initiative and, working with the Florida Cabinet, made it a little easier for ex-felons to have their voting rights restored, untangling the application process. This year, however, the governor and lawmakers must follow through with the re-sources to make the initial changes meaningful. The commission needs its reduced funding and staff re-stored.” [Miami Herald, 2/19/02]

2001: U.S. Supreme Court Upheld Florida’s Automatic Prohibition Of Felon Voting

2001: U.S. Supreme Court Upheld Florida’s “System Of Denying Voting Rights To Felons.” According to St. Petersburg Times, “The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday upheld Florida’s system of denying voting rights to felons — a practice condemned by civil-liberties groups for falling heavily on African-Americans and affecting more than 600,000 people even after their sentences are served. The high court declined to hear Johnson v. Bush, leaving intact a lower court ruling that Florida’s system did not violate the U.S. Constitution or the 1965 Voting Rights Act.” [St. Petersburg Times, 6/9/01]

2001: Jeb Bush Spokesperson Alia Faraj Called Florida’s Law Prohibiting Felons From Voting “A Good System That Works.” According to St. Petersburg Times, “‘We have a good system that works,’ said Alia Faraj, spokeswoman for Gov. Jeb Bush. ‘Anybody who decides to commit a crime risks losing their civil rights.’ But civil libertarians said that the Florida law affects African-Americans disproportionately and that it is one of the most restrictive in the United States. Felons who have no voting rights cannot get certain state professional licenses.” [St. Petersburg Times, 6/9/01]

2001: Jeb Bush Signed Electoral Laws Reforms

2001: Jeb Bush Signed Electoral Law Reform Law Creating Statewide Voter Database, Purging Convicted Felons From Rolls. According to St. Petersburg Times, “Under the election law signed by Gov. Jeb Bush, the state plans to create a statewide database of voters and to purge convicted felons from the rolls. Rich has asked Florida Attorney General Bob Butterworth to furnish the details of how the state plans to create the database and how it will identify and notify the voters who would have their names purged from the rolls.” [St. Petersburg Times, 12/19/01]

2001: Justice Department Needed To Approve Removal Of Disqualified Names From Voter Rolls. According to St. Petersburg Times, “Until the Justice Department approves the final segment of the law, the state will not be able to remove any disqualified names from voter rolls. But it can proceed with all other changes in the election law, including the purchase of new equipment to replace outdated punch card systems.” [St. Petersburg Times, 12/19/01]

2004: Appeals Court Ruled Florida Failed To Do Enough To Help Prisoners Regain Voting Rights

2004: Appellate Court Ruled That Florida Corrections Officials “Don’t Do Enough To Help Thousands Of Prisoners Get Their Voting And Other Civil Rights Restored When They’re Released.” According to The Associated Press State & Local Wire, “State corrections officials don’t do enough to help thousands of prisoners get their voting and other civil rights restored when they’re released, an appellate court ruled Wednesday.” [Associated Press State & Local Wire, 7/14/04]

2004: Court Ruled That Florida Department Of Corrections Failed To Follow “State Law Requiring That Prisoners Get A Form To Apply For A Hearing To Get Their Civil Rights Back,” Must “Provide The Forms And Help Prisoners Fill Them Out Before They Leave Prison.” According to The Associated Press State & Local Wire, “The unanimous ruling by the First District Court of Appeal said the Department of Corrections isn’t following a state law requiring that prisoners get a form to apply for a hearing to get their civil rights back. The appeals court said prison officials must provide the forms and help prisoners fill them out before they leave prison.” [Associated Press State & Local Wire, 7/14/04]

2004 Court Ruling Noted That 85 Percent Of Prisoners Not Automatically Granted Hearing To Restore Rights, Forced To “Figure Out How To Get An Application And Fill It Out.” According to The Associated Press State & Local Wire, “Currently, when a prisoner is released, the Department of Corrections sends the prisoner’s information to parole officials. About 15 percent of those felons are now automatically granted a hearing to have their rights restored, something Bush says his critics don’t acknowledge. […] But roughly 85 percent aren’t automatically granted a hearing, and if they want one, they later must figure out how to get an application and fill it out, said Randy Berg, executive director of the Florida Justice Institute in Miami and the lawyer who argued the case for the plaintiffs, the Caucus of Black State Legislators. The court ruled that those 85 percent shouldn’t have to figure out possibly months after leaving prison how to apply for a hearing.” [Associated Press State & Local Wire, 7/14/04]

2004: Jeb Bush Pledged To Abide By Judges  Order, “Help Prisoners Apply To Have Their Rights Restored.” According to The Associated Press State & Local Wire, “Gov. Jeb Bush says the state will do what the judges order and help prisoners apply to have their rights restored. ‘If the requirement is there be assistance to fill out the form, that’s what we’ll do,’ Bush said.” [Associated Press State & Local Wire, 7/14/04]

December 2004: Jeb Bush Approved New Rules To Help Felons Vote, Receive Drivers Licenses

2004: Bush, Cabinet Approved New Rules Easing Process For Former Prisoners To Restore Their Civil Rights. According to Orlando Sentinel, “Tens of thousands of felons could vote and get state licenses for many jobs because of rule changes approved by Gov. Jeb Bush and the Cabinet on Thursday. Bush said the decision would ease the process of restoring civil rights for former prisoners who have stayed out of trouble. ‘We have more than 4,000 cases pending [a clemency-board hearing], and we hear only about 200 a year. That’s a long time to wait,’ Bush said. ‘And that number is not static. It continues to grow. There are more people than ever applying.’” [Orlando Sentinel, 12/10/04]

2004: Under Bush’s New Rules, People Convicted Of Nonviolent Crimes Could Apply For Clemency Without Board Hearing After Five Years; Violent Criminals After 15 Years. According to Orlando Sentinel, “Thursday’s action will allow people convicted of nonviolent crimes to apply for clemency without a board hearing if they have been free of arrest for five years. Those convicted of violent felonies could have their civil rights restored after 15 years if they aren’t charged again with a crime.” [Orlando Sentinel, 12/10/04]

2004: Bush Planned To Ask Legislature For Additional Funding To Review Florida’s 4,000 Pending Cases To Restore Civil Rights For Felons. According to Orlando Sentinel, “Bush said he also plans to ask the Legislature to fund additional staff to help review the 4,000 pending cases, although he said the new rule changes should reduce that number by about one-third.” [Orlando Sentinel, 12/10/04]

June 2015: Florida Restored 56,000 Prisoners’ Voting Rights In Last Twelve Months. According to The Associated Press State & Local Wire, “In recent years, Florida has made it easier for felons to have their voting rights restored, and in the 12 months ending last June 30, nearly 56,000 prisoners regained voting rights, according to Jane Tillman of the state’s parole commission. Gov. Jeb Bush ‘believes we have a fair and good clemency system in place for the restoration of civil rights, including voting,’ said spokeswoman Alia Faraj.” [Associated Press State & Local Wire, 6/21/05]

2005-2006: Editorial, National Condemnation Of Florida’s Prohibition On Felon Voting

St. Petersburg Times Editorial, 2005: “The Florida Situation Is The Nation’s Largest And Most Indefensible Denial Of Civil Rights” Since Selma. In an editorial St. Petersburg Times wrote, “With an estimated 600,000 people denied the vote no matter how fully they paid their debts to society or how honorably they have lived thereafter, the Florida situation is the nation’s largest and most indefensible denial of civil rights since a Congress aroused by Alabama’s brutality to demonstrators at the Selma bridge passed the Voting Rights Act of 1965.” [St. Petersburg Times, 11/16/05]

St. Petersburg Times Editorial, 2005: “It Is Disingenuous For Gov. Jeb Bush To Assert That He And The Pardon Board Have A ‘Fair Process’ For Granting Dispensations.” In an editorial St. Petersburg Times wrote, “It is disingenuous for Gov. Jeb Bush to assert that he and the Pardon Board have a ‘fair process’ for granting dispensations. If it were fair in fact as well as fancy, there would not be some 9,600 people still on the waiting list and they would not have to spend so many years there. The much greater scandal is the many tens of thousands who never apply because they do not know that they can or have heard that it is futile. Where 14 states once maintained lifetime bans, there are now only Florida, Kentucky and Virginia.” [St. Petersburg Times, 11/16/05]

St. Petersburg Times Editorial, 2005: Revoking Felon’s Voting Rights “Was Proposed In Essentially Its Present Form By A Post-Reconstruction Legislature Mindful Of Its Utility Against Former Slaves.” In an editorial St. Petersburg Times wrote, “Although the Constitution declares only voting rights to be forfeit upon a felony conviction – this was proposed in essentially its present form by a post-Reconstruction Legislature mindful of its utility against former slaves – Florida laws have since piled on the denial of access to most licensed professions as well as the right to possess firearms.” [St. Petersburg Times, 11/16/05]

2006: Jesse Jackson Compared Jeb Bush To George Wallace Over Disenfranchisement Of Felons. According to Miami Times, “All media went quiet as the Rev. Jesse Jackson compared Governor Jeb Bush to former Alabama governor and segregationist George Wallace. During a live press conference at the 1490 WMBM radio studio on Monday, Jackson aired his disgust for the law keeping almost 48,000 former felons and possible non-felons off the voter rolls. Jackson said this is a ‘disenfranchisement tactic’ used by Gov. Bush to keep Blacks from voting. ‘This is typical South tactic,’ the civil rights leader said during the ‘Morning Glory’ show. ‘They are denying us the right to vote based on race and class.’” [Miami Times, 6/23/04]

  • 2006: Responding To Criticism Of Jeb Bush, Florida GOP Called Jesse Jackson “Carpetbagging Rabble-Rouser.” According to Miami Times, “Gov. Bush called Jackson’s comments ‘outrageous,’ saying the process ex-prisoners must go through to get their right to vote restored has been ‘streamlined.’ He also said he has appointed many Blacks to positions in the state government. The Republican Party later tried to discredit Jackson, labeling him a ‘carpetbagging rabble-rouser.’” [Miami Times, 6/23/04]

2007: Gov. Crist Restored Voting Rights To 80 Percent Of Felons, Or 800,000 People

2007: Gov. Crist Persuaded Florida’s Clemency Board To Restore Voting Rights To 800,000 Non-Violent Former Prisoners Over Jeb Bush’s Objections.According to Precinct Reporter, “By 2007, Florida had disenfranchised 950,000 citizens who had felony convictions, the vast majority of whom were black. Latino and low-income people. In an unexpected move, Flor-ida Republican Governor Charlie Crist changed his anti-felon position to declare that the time had come for his state to leave the ‘offensive minority of states that uniformly denied ex-prisoners voting rights.’ On April 5, 2007, Governor Crist persuaded Florida’s clemency board to restore voting rights to about 800,000 former prisoners. Crist’s action was vigorously opposed by Florida Attorney General Bill McColium, as well as by former governor Jeb Bush. Under the new rules, about 80 percent of the disenfranchised whose crimes were not classified as ‘‘violent’ will automatically have their voting rights restored so long as they have paid any restitution to victims and have no pending criminal charges.” [Precinct Reporter, 5/3/07]

2004: Bush Tried To Purge “Potential Felons” In The 2004 Elections, But The State Was Forced To Scrap Those Plans

PolitiFact: “Mostly True” That “In 2004 A Plan To Purge Even More Voters Was Headed Off.” According to PolitiFact, “Clinton said, ‘In Florida, when Jeb Bush was governor, state authorities conducted a deeply flawed purge of voters before the presidential election in 2000’ and ‘in 2004 a plan to purge even more voters was headed off.’ Clinton omits that this effort started before Bush was in office, though it did continue under his watch. In 2004, the state scrapped another purge after officials admitted errors. The statement is accurate but needs additional information. So we rate it Mostly True.” [PolitiFact, 6/9/15]

2004: Florida Compiled A New List Of 47,000 Potential Felons, But After A Lawsuit Forced The State To Make The List Publicly Available, More Than 2,000 Of Those Names Should Not Have Been On The List. According to PolitiFact, “The state compiled a new list of 47,000 potential felons before the 2004 election. But after a lawsuit forced the state to make the list publicly available in July 2004, the Miami Herald reported that more than 2,000 of those names — many of them black Democrats — should not have been on the list, because their rights to vote were restored through the state’s clemency process. A separate issue was that Hispanics made up 0.1 percent of the list, in a state where nearly one in five residents were Hispanic. The state’s criminal database didn’t have ‘Hispanic’ as a category, but voter registration rolls did have it, which created a discrepancy.” [PolitiFact, 6/9/15]

Less Than Two Weeks After The List Was Released, The State Scrapped The Entire List, Saying It Was Flawed. According to PolitiFact, “Less than two weeks after the list was released, the state scrapped the entire list, saying it was flawed. Not including Hispanic felons on the list ‘was an oversight and a mistake. … And we accept responsibility, and that’s why we’re pulling it back,’ Bush said at the time. But even before they tossed the list, state officials knew it was flawed. A May 2 internal memo detailed a half dozen missed deadlines, failed software programs, repeated miscues and personnel problems.” [PolitiFact, 6/9/15]

Bush’s Policies Set Off A New Wave Of Voter Disenfrachisement Across The Country

The Nation: How The 2000 Election In Florida Led To A New Wave Of Voter Disenfranchisement [The Nation, 7/28/15]

Before The 2000 Presidential Election, Florida Sent Its County Election Supervisors A List Of 58,000 Alleged Felons To Purge From The Voting Rolls.According to The Nation, “Before the election, Florida sent its county election supervisors a list of 58,000 alleged felons to purge from the voting rolls. Florida was one of eight states that prevented ex-felons from voting.” [The Nation, 7/28/15]

  • Blacks Made Up Only 11 Percent Of Registered Voters In The State, But 44 Percent Of Those On The Purge List, Which Turned Out To Be Littered With Errors. According to The Nation, “The felon-disenfranchisement law dated back to 1868, when the state banned anyone with a felony conviction from voting unless the governor issued a pardon. The law targeted newly emancipated African-Americans, who during slavery were far more likely to be arrested than whites, including for such offenses as looking at a white woman. This racially discriminatory policy was still on the books in 2000. Blacks made up only 11 percent of registered voters in the state, but 44 percent of those on the purge list, which turned out to be littered with errors.” [The Nation, 7/28/15]

Civil Rights Lawyer Judith Browne Dianis: “’The Parties And The Candidates Did Not Want To Focus On The Racial Impact Of Decisions That Were Made In Florida. It Was One Of Those Moments When Race Was Being Swept Under The Rug.” According to The Nation, “Hanging chads, butterfly ballots, the antics of Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris, and thousands of Jews accidentally voting for Pat Buchanan in Palm Beach were among the stories that captured the headlines during the chaotic 36-day Florida recount between Al Gore and George W. Bush. The widespread and wrongful purging of registered voters was the most consequential—and least discussed—aspect of the Florida election. ’The parties and the candidates did not want to focus on the racial impact of decisions that were made in Florida,’ said civil-rights lawyer Judith Browne Dianis. ‘It was one of those moments when race was being swept under the rug.’” [The Nation, 7/28/15]

Company That Florida Entrusted With The Purge Ran The Names On Its List Using Stricter Criteria, And Turned Up With 12,000 Voters Who Should Not Have Been Labelled Felons. According to The Nation, “The NAACP sued Florida after the election for violating the Voting Rights Act (VRA). As a result of the settlement, the company that the Florida legislature entrusted with the purge—the Boca Raton–based Database Technologies (DBT)—ran the names on its 2000 purge list using stricter criteria. The exercise turned up 12,000 voters who shouldn’t have been labeled felons. That was 22 times Bush’s 537-vote margin of victory.” [The Nation, 7/28/15]

The Nation: “Bush’s Election Empowered A New Generation Of Voting-Rights Critics, Who Hyped The Threat Of Voter Fraud In Order To Restrict Access To The Ballot, And Remade A Supreme Court That Would Eventually Gut The Centerpiece Of The VRA.” According to The Nation, “The 2000 election in Florida forever changed American politics and kicked off a new wave of GOP-led voter disenfranchisement efforts. ‘Other people began to see that in very competitive elections, you could make a difference by keeping certain voters from participating,’ Hailes said. Bush’s election empowered a new generation of voting-rights critics, who hyped the threat of voter fraud in order to restrict access to the ballot, and remade a Supreme Court that would eventually gut the centerpiece of the VRA.” [The Nation, 7/28/15]

John Roberts Advised Jeb Bush On How The State Legislature Could Assign Its Presidential Electors To George W. Bush Before The Recount Was Finished.According to The Nation, “Roberts edited legal briefs, including the Bush campaign’s 50-page submission to the Supreme Court, and ­prepared Theodore Olson, a former assistant attorney general under Reagan, for oral arguments. He also advised Florida’s governor, Jeb Bush, on how the state legislature could assign its presidential electors to George W. Bush before the recount was finished. ‘I really appreciate your input on my role in this unique and historic situation,’ Bush wrote to Roberts.” [The Nation, 7/28/15]

When Asked What He Did To Ensure The Election Laws Were Faithfully Executed, Jeb Bush Replied “It Is The Responsibility Of The Secretary Of State As Part Of Our Constitution.” According to The Nation, “On January 11, 2001, Jeb Bush testified before the Civil Rights Commission during its investigation into the election problems in Florida. ‘What, if anything, did you do to ensure the election laws were faithfully executed?’ general counsel Hailes asked the Florida governor. Bush said that he wasn’t responsible for the problems in Florida, including the voter purge. He blamed Katherine Harris. ‘It is the responsibility of the secretary of state as part of our Constitution,’ Bush answered.” [The Nation, 7/28/15]

  • Jeb Bush: “The Secretary Of State And The 67 Supervisors Of Election Were Responsible For That.” According to The Nation, “‘You had no authority, no responsibilities, and took no actions with regard to the election?’ Hailes pressed. ‘No, the secretary of state and the 67 supervisors of election were responsible for that,’ Bush said.” [The Nation, 7/28/15]

On The Orders Of State Officials, Names Were Added To The Purge List If There Was Only A 70 Percent Match Between A Name On The Voter Rolls And A Name In The State’s Felon Database. According to The Nation, “But blatant warning signs were ignored by Bush and the state well in advance of the election. On the orders of state officials, names were added to the purge list if there was only a 70 percent match between a name on the voter rolls and a name in the state’s felon database.” [The Nation, 7/28/15]

  • Voters Could Be Tagged As Felons Even When Middle Initials, Suffixes, Nicknames, And Even Race And Sex Data Didn’t Match Perfectly. According to The Nation, “This meant that voters could be tagged as felons even when middle initials, suffixes, nicknames, and even race and sex data didn’t match perfectly. Hence the confusion of Willie Steen with felon O’Steen.” [The Nation, 7/28/15]

DBT Warned Florida That It Was Compiling “False Positives.” According to The Nation, “DBT warned the state that it was compiling ‘false positives.’” [The Nation,7/28/15]

  • Senior Attorney For The Division Of Elections Responded That “We Want To Capture More Names That Possibly Aren’t Matches.” According to The Nation, “Bucky Mitchell, a senior attorney for the Division of Elections, told the company, ‘Obviously, we want to capture more names that possibly aren’t matches and let the supervisors make a final determination rather than exclude certain matches altogether.’ Voters were deemed guilty until proven innocent. The election supervisors became responsible for Florida’s intentionally lax record-keeping.” [The Nation, 7/28/15]
  • Madison County Election Supervisor Found Herself On The Purge List. According to The Nation, “In May 2000, after the first supposedly corrected batch of names was released, the election supervisor in Madison County found herself on the purge list. Ion Sancho, the election supervisor for Tallahassee’s Leon County, was the only election official to go through the list one by one. ‘We went for a five-for-five match,’ he told Vanity Fair. ‘Those were criteria such as name, birth date, race, sex, Social Security number. When we applied that to this list of 697 that we got in 2000, I could verify only 33.’” [The Nation, 7/28/15]
  • Highest-Ranking Officials In Florida Did Not Urge The Election Supervisors To Disregard A List That Many Knew Was Deeply Flawed. According to The Nation, “Nonetheless, the highest-ranking officials in Florida did not urge the election supervisors to disregard a list that many knew was deeply flawed.” [The Nation,7/28/15]

University Of North Florida Political Science Professor: “Once The Problems Emerged, Governor Bush Could Have Made It Clear That It Wasn’t Acceptable To Wrongly Take Voters Off The Rolls.” According to The Nation, “‘Once the problems emerged, Governor Bush could have made it clear that it wasn’t acceptable to wrongly take voters off the rolls,’ says Matthew Corrigan, professor of political science at the University of North Florida and author of Conservative Hurricane: How Jeb Bush Remade Florida.” [The Nation, 7/28/15]

Civil Rights Commission Found Evidence Of “Widespread Voter Disenfranchisement” And Concluded Than An “Overall Lack Of Leadership In Protecting Voting Rights Was Largely Responsible For The Broad Array Of Problems In Florida During The 2000 Election.” According to The Nation, “In January and February 2001, the Civil Rights Commission listened to 30 hours of testimony from more than 100 witnesses during three field hearings in Tallahassee and Miami—including Bush, Harris, the state attorney general, and numerous county election supervisors. The commission’s final report found evidence of ‘widespread voter disenfranchisement’—which likely violated the VRA—and concluded that an ‘overall lack of leadership in protecting voting rights was largely responsible for the broad array of problems in Florida during the 2000 election.’” [The Nation, 7/28/15]

The Nation: “From 2011 To 2015, 468 Voting Restrictions Have Been Introduced In 49 States. Half The States In The Country Have Passed New Laws Making It Harder To Vote. None Of This Would Have Been Possible If It Wasn’t For The 2000 Election In Florida.” According to The Nation, “The result has been the most significant effort to restrict voting rights since the Jim Crow era. From 2011 to 2015, 468 voting restrictions have been introduced in 49 states. Half the states in the country have passed new laws making it harder to vote. None of this would have been possible if it wasn’t for the 2000 election in Florida.” [The Nation, 7/28/15]

Bush Said States Should Implement Voter ID Laws

Jeb Bush Argued That States Should Be Allowed To Implement Voter Identification Laws. According to Immigration Wars, “Finally, states should be allowed to protect the integrity of the franchise with voter identification laws, which are supported by a large majority of Americans, including Hispanics. I So long as states make it simple for citizens to obtain such forms of identification, they should have the latitude to require such identification for voting or to secure welfare benefits. Again, some states will not create such requirements; but others will, and they have very strong justifications to do so. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit struck down Arizona’s voter ID law on the grounds that states may not add requirements to federal voting laws. 29 The U.S. Supreme Court granted review in that case and likely will issue a ruling around the time this book goes to print. Regardless of the outcome, Congress can and should authorize states to create such identification requirements. Rather than bringing the weight of the federal government down on them for exercising the most basic attributes of state sovereignty, our federal immigration law should expressly recognize that central prerogative.” [Immigration Wars, 3/5/13]

Published: Oct 8, 2015

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