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  • Friday, October 29, 2004


    Greg Palast Interview on Democracy Now!

    I've been trying to keep up on all the shenanigans recently about voter registration problems, possible intimidation of black voters, loss of absentee ballots, etc. It's hard. There's so much going on with this issue. Still, I was blown away by a BBC news report shown on Democracy Now! and an interview with Greg Palast. Palast is often credited with breaking the 2000 Florida felon purge list story detailing the purge of 93,000 purported felons from the voter rolls in Florida. It turned out the majority of them were not felons. Here's a bit from the interview but you should check the whole thing out. From Democracy Now! Secret Document Suggests GOP Preparing to Challenge Black Vote in Florida:

    GREG PALAST: As for registrations, what happened was that students, mostly Democrats, students filled out petition forms for medical use of marijuana, and it turns out they were signing the back of registration forms without knowing it, reregistering themselves as republicans. This was definitely tied to a republican-paid operation, and at least 4,000 of the forged registrations, which is a felony to forge registration, have been found, and Jeb Bush's department of law enforcement says that they don't have time for the next few weeks to get around to arresting the forgers. It's just -- this is just the beginning of the game.

    AMY GOODMAN: What does it mean that they have now registered as Republicans? Can they still vote?

    GREG PALAST: No, they cannot. They have now double- registered. They only got caught because the Election Supervisor's daughter was caught in the scam. If she had put in an absentee ballot, if this wasn't caught in her case, her ballot would be thrown out.

    JUAN GONZALEZ: He also said they were being reregistered in another county, therefore, creating problems?

    GREG PALAST: Yes. In other words, basically setting up the voter to have their vote voided because they're double registered. And again, this is just one of the several games we are finding, for example, the felon purge, which our press here has said is over with believe me, it ain't. Most of the people of the 93,000 people tagged in the first round as felons, who are legal voters, mostly Democrats, 4 to 1 Democrats, just so you know, 4 to 1 Democrat registered. Most of those are still purged. They're still playing games with these people. Then you've also got games with absentee ballots. One thing that's not come out in the story about Broward County, and the ballots missing, you have to understand that Jeb Bush fired a black female Democrat who was elections supervisor, who was elected, replaced her with his own appointee, who is suddenly now not sending out absentee ballots in a heavily Democratic area.

    JUAN GONZALEZ: This is Broward?

    GREG PALAST: Broward. You have Jeb Bush appointing Republicans to replace Democrats, who are then impeding the vote, as in Jacksonville where a Republican was just appointed to take over, and he's making it almost impossible for black people to vote. Jacksonville, by the way, is the largest physical city in the United States with one polling place for early voting, again to stop the churches and Jesse Jackson and his group from bringing in thousands of voters to vote.

    AMY GOODMAN: So again, this top news, as many as 58,000 absentee ballots have gone missing in Broward County, ballots said to have been mailed two weeks ago, but somehow, they have disappeared. Now there's a lot of finger pointing, the county is blaming the postal service. The post office said, No, we didn’t get them.

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