By: Lucia Moses
The Miami Herald
Five days after a questionable 1997 mayoral election, The Miami Herald published a revelation that a dead man had voted in the election. “It turned out he had voted in three prior elections as well,” project editor Judy Miller says.
It was the Herald’s first coup in what would become an ongoing investigation into voter fraud which revealed widespread fraud in the election. The Herald won its 16th Pulitzer for the investigation.
Following publication of the stories, more than 40 people were arrested, the election was overturned, and balloting procedures were changed. Miller says reporters went door-to-door for two months, verifying 1,500 voters’ addresses, and used databases to cross-check voter information. “It was a great combination of shoe leather and sophisticated database reporting,” she says.
Finalists were Alix M. Freedman of The Wall Street Journal, who reported on a controversial sterilization technique which was used on third world women, and Fred Schulte and Jenni Bergal of the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel for their investigation of the hidden dangers of cosmetic surgery.
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