Voting rights suits to be filed

Wednesday, May 22, 2002

WASHINGTON -- The government will file three lawsuits against Florida counties alleging voting rights violations resulting from the bitterly disputed 2000 presidential election, a Justice Department official said Tuesday.

Lawsuits also will be filed in Missouri and Tennessee by the department's civil rights division, Assistant Attorney General Ralph Boyd told the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The lawsuits will allege different treatment of minority voters, improper purging of voter rolls, "motor voter" registration violations and failure to provide access to disabled voters, said Boyd.

Other charges, include failing to allow voters with limited proficiency in English to have assistance at the polls and failing to provide bilingual assistance.

Florida's voting system endured intense scrutiny after the 2000 election, including a recount and protests that went all the way to the Supreme Court before George W. Bush was declared the winner of the state -- and the presidency.

In St. Louis, a lawsuit was filed claiming that minorities were having trouble voting.

Boyd said the counties and cities are cooperating in the investigation.

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