In 2004 Florida experienced one of the most devastating hurricane seasons in its history. Four hurricanes—Charley, Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne—hit the state in August and September, the first time a state experienced four hurricanes in a single season since Texas in 1886, according to the National Hurricane Center. Hurricane Frances caused the largest mass evacuation in the state’s history. The four storms were responsible for at least 20 deaths in the state, at least $15 billion in insured property damages, and the temporary loss of electrical power for millions of residences.
In 2000 Florida became the focus of national attention during the disputed presidential election between Democrat Al Gore and Republican George W. Bush (brother of Governor Jeb Bush). Because both candidates needed Florida’s 25 electoral college votes to win, voting procedures in Florida came under great scrutiny, both during the dispute and after the election was awarded to George W. Bush. Reports emerged of voting irregularities, including confusing ballots and thousands of so-called undervotes (ballots that did not register a vote for a presidential candidate when they were run through the counting machines).
Throughout the state, some blacks claimed they were denied the right to vote because of incorrectly processed voter registration applications or older voting machines that did not function properly. Various civil rights organizations filed a lawsuit against the state charging that blacks were discouraged from voting. In 2001 the U.S. Civil Rights Commission issued its findings on the election, concluding that there was a “widespread denial of voting rights.”
In response to the election problems, the Florida legislature passed a bill in 2001 known as the Florida Election Reform Act. The bill prohibited punch-card ballot machines, provided for a uniform statewide ballot design, and set standards for reviewing ballots during a manual recount.
In June 2008 the state of Florida announced the largest land acquisition in its history, tentatively agreeing to pay the United States Sugar Company $1.75 billion for 800 sq km (300 sq mi)—about 70,000 hectares (180,000 acres)—of land owned by the sugarcane producer in the Everglades. Environmental groups hailed the acquisition as the most extensive ecosystem restoration project in U.S. history. In April 2009 the terms of the agreement were substantially changed.
Under these terms Florida agreed to acquire about 29,300 hectares (72,500 acres) for $533 million with an option to purchase the remainder of the land in 2019. "Florida" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
Photos of European countries to visit
Photos of Asian countries to visit
Photos of America