At the request of Florida Secretary of State Glenda Hood, the Justice Department has initiated an investigation following a report that 46,000 New York City voters are also registered to vote in Florida and that as many as 1,000 may have already voted in both states in the same election.
On August 24, the New York Daily News published the results of an investigation by reporter Russ Buettner. Buettner determined that 46,000 New York City residents are also registered to vote in Florida. Of these, the investigation “found that between 400 and 1,000 registered voters have voted twice in at least one election.” This is a federal offense punishable by up to five years in jail.
Not surprisingly, these twice-registered New York voters are overwhelmingly Democratic, 68% to only 12% registered as Republicans. Another 16% did not list a party affiliation. This would mean about 31,280 are Democrats, while only about 5,520 are Republicans, giving the Democrats a 25,760-voter advantage among those who–at least theoretically–could vote illegally in both New York City and Florida on November 2.
In 2000, Bush beat Gore by only 537 votes in Florida–thus securing an Electoral College victory.
The Daily News cited by name only six people who had voted in both New York and Florida in at least one previous election. Ironically, of these six, the paper identified two as Republicans and only one as a Democrat, with no party affiliations given for the other three.
On October 4, Florida Secretary of State Hood announced that the U.S. Justice Department and the U.S. Elections Assistance Commission are investigating the Daily News‘s revelations, and that she did not believe New York was the only state whose residents were double-registering in Florida.
“The FBI has assured us that the Department of Justice is investigating this issue,” Hood was quoted in the Tampa Tribune. “Today I met with the chairman of the U.S. Elections Assistance Commission, and their general counsel has been reviewing it. . . . We are sure there are other states involved.” In an August 26 letter, the Tribune reported, Hood told the FBI that federal action is “necessary to send a strong message that this type of illegal behavior and manipulation of the election franchise will not be tolerated.”