Civil Rights Commission Examines FL Voter Complaints

A US Commission on Civil Rights held a hearing last week in Florida to try to determine if the obstacles black and physically impaired voters encountered at the polls on November 7 were intentional. Problems at the polls included racial discrimination, inadequate assistance for physically impaired voters, faulty voting machines, increased police presence and wrongfully placing black voters on ineligible voter lists.

During the hearing, Katherine Harris, Florida Secretary of State and co-chairwoman of George W. Bush’s presidential campaign in Florida, testified that her department was too large for her to “manageƒor have expertise in everything” that goes on, and that Clay Roberts, Florida’s Division of Elections, was responsible for the day-to-day operations and briefed Harris only when necessary. Mary Frances Berry, chairwoman of the Commission called Harris’ description of her role in the November election “laughable” and said Harris “could have taken the time to brief herself on the responsibilities of the office.”


CNN _ January 14, 2001

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