How The Voters Won

A national push to tighten voting rules has sputtered

Photographs by Dominic Nahr for TIME

Harry Sawyer Jr., the longtime supervisor of elections in the Florida Keys, was always skeptical of Governor Rick Scott's plan to purge noncitizens from the voter rolls. Sawyer, like Scott, is a Republican, but he was infuriated when the initial list of 182,000 names sent by the state was "so inaccurate we couldn't even deal with it." The state later whittled the list to about 2,600 supposedly ineligible voters, but it was still riddled with errors. "You just want to shake your head," Sawyer says. "They were solving a problem--voter fraud--that doesn't really exist." The state's final list, published in September,...

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