THE PATH TO FLORIDA | Vanity Fair | October 2004

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As the Florida recount ate away at George W. Bush's margin of victory (1,784 votes . . . 327 . . . 154 . . .), the machinery of political power sprang to life. In Washington, stunned U.S. Supreme Court clerks watched justice become partisan, while in Florida, tens of thousands of citizens—thousands of them African-American—found themselves disenfranchised by misleading, faulty, and uncounted ballots, or inexplicably purged from the rolls. Zeroing in on the frenzied 36 days that followed the 2000 election, David Margolick, Evgenia Peretz, and Michael Shnayerson investigate the 'Brooks Brothers riot,' Jeb Bush's high-tech felon hunt, and the new voting machines that leave no paper trail, and ask, Could it happen again?