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JULY 25, 2002
5:07 PM
CONTACT:  People for the American Way
Tracy Duckett or Nathan Richter, 202-467-4999
Court Hears Motions On Florida Election Violations
WASHINGTON - July 25 - News Advisory:

U.S. District Court Judge Alan S. Gold will hear motions for summary judgment on Friday, July 26th, 2002 in the case of NAACP v. Harris et al. The suit has been brought by People For the American Way Foundation and other civil rights organizations on behalf of the NAACP and African American voters denied the right to vote in Florida in the 2000 general election.

Judge Gold will hear a motion Friday from PFAWF and its co-counsel asking the court to restore voters who were purged through the use of ex-felon lists from other states; these states automatically restore voting rights to citizens once they have completed their sentences, and therefore these voters retained their rights when moving to Florida. Plaintiff's motion also asks the court to find that the state violated federal law by failing to conduct the statewide purge program of voter rolls in a uniform and non-discriminatory manner across the 67 counties.

The suit states that Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris along with Florida Elections Division Director Clay Roberts and several other defendants unlawfully abridged or denied black citizens the right to vote during the November 2000 election. The suit seeks the restoration of the rights of voters wrongly purged, and reforms in the administering of elections to ensure compliance with federal voting rights laws.

This hearing is an important step towards the August 26 trial. The suit currently involves Harris, Roberts and other state officials as well as several Florida counties. People For the American Way Foundation and its co-counsel have settled their suits against two counties who have agreed to undertake several key election reforms. We have also settled our suit against Choicepoint/DBT, the private contractor hired by the state to prepare lists for use in purging voter rolls statewide. Choicepoint/DBT has agreed to reprocess the voter lists using narrower, more accurate criteria than the state used prior to the November 2000 elections.

WHEN: Friday, July 26 at 10:30 a.m.

WHERE: Courtroom of Judge Alan S. Gold
U.S. District Court
301 North Miami Avenue
Miami, Florida

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