MIAMI – A judge Monday dismissed an attempt by Republicans to force the elections supervisor in heavily Democratic Broward County (search) to update a list of early voters, which elections officials said would be done regardless.
"No court can micromanage an election and I have no intention of doing so," said Circuit Judge David Krathen (search).
Krathen, ruling in Fort Lauderdale, dismissed the Republicans' request after an attorney for county elections supervisor Brenda Snipes assured him that the list would be updated by 7 a.m. Tuesday.
Republican officials had said they were concerned that throngs of voters showing up Monday at early voting sites could vote again Election Day (search) because the list sent to precincts contains only the names of people who voted early through Sunday.
"There isn't any sort of check to keep them from voting twice. There's nothing in place to alert the clerks that the person may have voted during the early voting period," said GOP attorney Hayden Dempsey.
In the lawsuit, the Republican Party of Florida sought a preliminary injunction forcing Snipes to update the list of early voters. Dempsey said he was pleased that Snipes agreed to do so.
"We're very happy that we did it," Dempsey said. "We thought it was a good result."
Snipes' attorney, Burnadette Norris-Weeks, said: "It's what we expected. The suit was baseless."
Steve Zack, general counsel for Sen. John Kerry's campaign in Florida, called the lawsuit an "11th-hour election eve scare tactic. ... It is now clear that nearly two million voters who have already spoken have instilled fear in the Republican camp."
More than 2 million Floridians have cast their ballots through early or absentee voting since the polls opened Oct. 18, said Jenny Nash, a spokeswoman for the secretary of state's office.
Broward County, which includes Fort Lauderdale, has more registered Democrats than any other county in the state, according to the secretary of state's office. Al Gore beat George W. Bush by more than 200,000 votes in the county in 2000.