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Tallahassee Bureau Chief
633. N. Orange Avenue
Orlando Fla. 32801
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RE: Article: "Purge of 'felons' on voter list under fire" at:
Dear Ms. Kleindienst:
In your article, you state:
"Under fire is the state contract with Database Technologies, which developed a database that wrongly identified some voters as felons -- which made them ineligible to vote -- while failing to identify others who are convicted felons."
I would draw your attention to the fact that the agreement entered into with the State of Florida REQUIRED that the list of voters to be purged include non-felons (also known as "false positives"). Your story is inaccurate when you say, "Database Technologies, which developed a database that WRONGLY identified some voters as felons." [my emphasis added]
Database Technologies was simply fulfilling its obligations to, and acting under instruction from, officials of the State of Florida:
[QUOTING FROM GREGORY PALAST'S REPORT FOR THE BBC:]--------
They will be putting our evidence to Database Technologies. Their vice-president told us that "manual verification by telephone calls" does not mean ringing people up to check they have got the right person. So were they paid to produce a list which they knew would name thousands of innocent black people? In fact DBT told Newsnight that Clayton Roberts and the State of Florida: "... wanted there to be more names than were actually verified as being a convicted felon."
MORE ON DATABASE TECHNOLOGIES FROM THE PALAST BBC REPORT:
This is Database Technologies. This is the company that the state of Florida hired to remove the names of people who committed serious crimes from the voter lists. I have obtained a document marked "confidential and trade secret". It says the company was paid millions of dollars to make telephone calls to verify they got the right names - but they didn't. There is nothing in the state of Florida files that says they made these telephone calls. So the question remains, why did the Republican leaders of this state pay millions for a list that stopped thousands of innocent Democrats from voting? The first list from DBT included 8,000 names from Texas supplied by George Bush's state officials. They said they were all felons, serious criminals barred from voting. As it turns out, almost none were. Local officials raised a ruckus and DBT issued a new list naming 58,000 felons. But the one county which went through the whole expensive process of checking the new list name by name found it was still 95% wrong. Reverend Willie Whiting was one of those removed from voter roles after DBT wrongly labelled him a serious criminal."
Ms. Kleindienst, may I suggest that one story that might be worthy of your time and effort, and might earn you great journalistic accolades, would be to look at those 8,000 former Texas residents originally purged by DBT, and determine the racial and political make-up of that group? NEXT: ACTION ALERT: MEDIA CRUELTY REPORT
Another interesting angle might be to look at the racial and political makeup of the group of felons Database Technologies FAILED to list.
I would venture to suggest that there is more going on here than meets the eye at first glance. Please consider following up on these issues.
Thank you for your time, Ms. Kleindienst, and please feel free to contact me.
The Diva (Full Name and Contact Information Were Provided)