Hearings Scheduled in Tallahassee January 11 & 12

Washington, DC – Responding to allegations of voting irregularities in the November 7 presidential election, the US Commission on Civil Rights will conduct two days of hearings in Tallahassee, FL, to determine whether eligible persons were denied the right to vote and if their votes were properly counted.

 The Tallahassee hearings are scheduled for January 11 and 12 at the Holiday Inn Select Hotel.  An open public forum will be held each day at the conclusion of the formal agenda.

 Commissioners will examine subpoenaed records and take sworn testimony from Florida state and county officials, registered voters and experts on election reform issues, election laws and procedures and voting rights.  Among the allegations to be examined: voters were improperly removed from the voting rolls or asked for additional forms of identification; students of color who had registered to vote were not on the rolls; precincts with a high concentration of African Americans had an unusually high police presence; voters were not provided with language assistance, as requested; and persons with disabilities were not ensured access to polling places.
 The Commission is an independent, bipartisan, fact-finding agency of the federal government with authority to hold hearings and subpoena both witnesses and documents.  It has very broad investigative authority in the area of voting rights, even when alleged abuses do not involve discrimination, fraud or other malicious intent.

WHAT: The first of the Commission hearings on voting irregularities will be held over two days in Tallahassee, FL
WHO: Florida officials, registered voters, experts on elections and voting
WHEN: Thursday, January 11      9 am - 5 pm; public forum 5 pm - 6 pm
             Friday, January 12           9 am - 4 pm; public forum 6 pm
WHERE: Holiday Inn Select Hotel 316 W. Tennessee Street, Tallahassee, FL



January 11-12, 2001
Holiday Inn Select Hotel
316 West Tennessee Street
Tallahassee, Florida  32301

Day One, Thursday, January 11, 2001

9:00 - 9:30 a.m. OPENING

   Opening Statement:  Hon. Mary Frances Berry
                                      Chairperson, US Commission on Civil Rights
   Statement of Rules:  Hon.Cruz Reynoso
                                      Vice Chairperson, US Commission on Civil Rights

   Welcome:                  June Littler
                                     Chairperson, Florida Advisory Committee

9:30 - 10:45 a. m. Allegations of Voting Irregularities

Fact witnesses to be announced

10:45 - 11:15 a.m. Responses to Allegations and
Election Reform Proposals
Hon. John Ellis Bush
Governor of Florida

11:15 - 11:30 a.m. Break

11:30 - 12:30 p.m. Looking Ahead:  Best Practices and Procedures

Jim Smith, Co-Chair, Task Force on Election Procedures, Standards and Technology

   Mark Pritchett, Executive Director, Task Force on
   Election Procedures, Standards and Technology

   Curtis Gans, Vice President/Exec. Dir., Committee for
   the Study of the American Electorate
   JoNel Newman, Florida Justice Institute,
   Co-Director of collaborative voting rights project
12:30 - 1:30 p.m. Lunch Break (Press availability 12:45 -1:30 pm)

1:30 - 3:00 p.m. Expert Panel on Voting Rights and Election Law

   Jim Dickson, Vice President
   National Organization on Disability

   Juan Figueroa, President and General Counsel
   Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund

   Allan J. Lichtman, Chairman
   Department of History, American University

   Darryl Paulson, Professor of Political Science
   University of South Florida

3:00 - 3:15 p.m. Break

3:15 - 5:00 p.m. Expert Panel on Voting Technology

   Kimball W. Brace, President
   Election Data Services, Inc.
   Douglas Jones, Associate Professor
   Dept. of Computer Science, Univ. of Iowa

   John Ahmann, Election Supplies, Inc.
   Inventor of “Vote-O-Matic” punch-card machine
5:00 - 6:00 p.m. Dinner Break

6:00 - 7:00 p.m. PUBLIC FORUM – OPEN SESSION

Day Two, Friday, January 12, 2001

8:00 - 9:00 a.m. Commission Meeting

9:00 - 11:00 a.m. Responsibilities and Observations of County Supervisors of Elections
Hon. Carol Finch Griffin, Washington County

Hon. Linda Howell, Madison County

Hon. Denny Hutchinson, Gadsden County
(Term of office ended Dec. 31, 2000)

Hon. Shirley Knight, Gadsden County
(Term of office began Jan. 1, 2001)

Hon. Ion Sancho, Leon County

11:00 - 11:15 a.m. Break
11:15 - 12:30 p.m. State Appointee Officials

Colonel Charles C. Hall
Florida Highway Patrol

Phyllis Hampton, General Counsel,
Florida Elections Commission

Hon. Robert Crawford, Designee to the Florida
Elections Canvassing Commission
12:30 - 2:00 p.m. Lunch Break (Possible press availability 1:00 - 1:30 pm)
2:00 - 4:00 p.m. Florida Voting Practices and Procedures: Requirements and Responsibilities

Panel One

2:00 - 2:45 p.m. Hon. Robert A. Butterworth
Attorney General for the State of Florida

Panel Two

2:45 - 4:00 p.m. Hon. Katherine Harris
Secretary of State for the State of Florida

L. Clayton Roberts
Director, Florida Department of State,
Division of Elections

4:00 - 6:00 p.m. Dinner Break (Media wrap-up session 4:00 - 4:30 pm)