MIAMI, May 29 (UPI) -- The Justice Department said Wednesday that lawsuits are still in the works against three Florida counties charged for failing to provide enough help at the polls during the 2000 presidential election despite statements made earlier in the week that the problems were minor.
There were 11,000 civil rights complaints lodged in the aftermath of the election and last week the department announced it was planning to sue three counties -- Miami-Dade, Osceola and Orange.
But in a letter to Congress Tuesday, Assistant Attorney General Ralph Boyd of the department's Civil Rights Division, said no Floridians were intentionally prevented from voting and that problems at polling places resulted in only a few voters leaving before they voted.
A spokesman said Wednesday Boyd was clarifying the situation and no plans were changed.
"The lawsuits will move forward, unless there is a settlement," Mark Corallo said.
Boyd said the department looked at all 11,000 complaints.
"While the Civil Rights Division discovered evidence of significant confusion and delay in the three counties, there were relatively few voters who actually did not vote because of these problems," Boyd wrote.
He said confusion caused mostly by language barriers "may have resulted in at least 26 voters choosing to leave the polls."
He said the number of voters who left "doesn't reasonably any doubt on President Bush's several hundred vote margin of victory in Florida."
Several Democrats questioned the letter, including Sen. Bill Nelson.
"That is a stretch for me to believe, out of 11,000 complaints with everything that we went through," he said.
The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, considered by Republicans as pro-Democrat, plans to return to Florida June 20 to review election reform in the state.
Last year, the commission said its investigation found "strong and credible evidence of violations of the Voting Rights Act.
Bush won by 537 votes after a five-week dispute over the results of the election. Florida's 25 electoral votes went to Bush, securing his election.
One of the focal points of the hassle was Palm Beach County where the entire vote was questioned and recounts were conducted. The county responded by buying a $14.4 million touch-screen voting system.
But there were a number of glitches in the touch-screen system during municipal elections this spring. In a single-race runoff election for the Wellington village Council, for example, 78 of the 2,600 voters apparently didn't vote for either candidate.
Four congressmen representing parts of the county expressed alarm and suggested a practice election. This week, Elections Supervisor Theresa LePore set one for several supermarkets and malls around the county. It will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 13.