Focus Point - The Last Word from Florida

Commentary by Pete du Pont

I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis. The fight over Florida and the presidential election seems worlds away now, especially after news organizations found Bush won after all. But the American enterprise institute has turned up one final, ironic coda.

The twist? If spoiled ballots indicate racial disenfranchisement, the most victimized group in the Florida voting was . . . Black republicans.

No kidding. Black republicans who voted in Florida were fifty-four to sixty-six percent more likely than the average african-american to have a ballot declared invalid because it was spoiled. In other words, for every two additional black republicans in the average precinct, there was one additional spoiled ballot.

By comparison, it took an 125 additional black voters of any affiliation in the average precinct to produce the same result. Among white voters, republicans were more likely than democrats to have spoiled ballots - and the rate of spoiled ballots was 14 percent higher when the election supervisor was a democrat and 31 percent higher when he was a black democrat.

So don't worry about fixing ballots. Start with the people.

Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont. Next time, soaring gun sales.