Many voters caught unawares by Florida's 'no-match' ID law

Miami HeraldOctober 31, 2008 

What do a promising rookie for the Miami Heat, a systems analyst from Bulgaria, the wife of a Republican congressional candidate and Fidel Castro have in common?

They can't just show up Nov. 4 and fill out a regular ballot. Theirs are among 12,000 names statewide flagged under Florida's Voter Verification Law, a ''no match'' screening process embroiled in legal and political controversy.

The ID check spits out voter registrations that don't match driver's license or social security records. It has left voters on a list dominated by blacks, Hispanics and Democrats in a legal limbo — unless they supply elections officials with additional proof they are who they say they are.

More than one-third of the people on the ''no match'' list live in Miami-Dade or Broward counties -- most notably Mario Chalmers, a Heat guard who starred in last year's Final Four college basketball championships.

Chalmers, who grew up in Alaska and played in Kansas, said his father successfully sorted out the ID mess.

''All I have to do is go vote,'' he said, "so that made it easier for me.''

The process has not been such a breeze for everyone. A Miami Herald survey of 50 no-match voters showed that more than a third didn't know the list, or law, even existed.

Read the full story at MiamiHerald.com

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