A list of more than 47,000 registered Florida voters identified as possible felons must be released to anyone who wants a copy, a Florida circuit judge ruled last week.
Leon County Circuit Court Judge Nikki Clark's ruling said the part of the state's election reform law that prohibited copying the list was unconstitutional and that it must be released immediately. Though the list won't give direct marketers an additional source of names, the creation of an earlier such list did involve an industry firm.
CNN, several Florida news organizations and the First Amendment Foundation brought the lawsuit against the Florida Division of Elections, claiming that a similar list compiled before the 2000 election may have been the source of eligible voters being denied their right to vote that year.
A firm called Database Technologies was contracted to provide the list before the 2000 election. DBT was acquired by ChoicePoint Inc., Alpharetta, GA, shortly after it supplied the list. It is unclear how this year's list was put together, though some news reports say the information was provided by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.