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Map of Caging list vs Zip Codes

Map of Caging List vs Zip codes with main roads


 The Caging List
Jacksonville, 2004 Elections

From the Deadletter page on we learn that the Republicans in Florida are keeping a Jacksonville, FL based "caging list" that is updated periodically. The emails kept in the deadletter box are characterized as: 

"Recently, we at happened to notice that our mail server had a default "catch-all" mailbox, which for the past several months had been quietly gathering any and all e-mails addressed to [INSERT-ANYTHING-HERE] We felt the need to share."

The caging list is being passed along several times as an attachment to several emails listed there. We reprint the most recent email that contains the attachment.

The, tells us:

Caging: The process of receiving, processing, and reporting the mailing results

Such a list can tell you who does not have a valid address and who may therefore be open to a challenge when they vote. As we see below, an interesting aspect of this list is that it is heavily weighted towards black neighborhoods in Jacksonville. It is a federal crime to seek to deny someone the vote based on race.

The raw data files are:

Using mapping software, we can see the density of hits from the caging list by zip code:

Adding in the roads gives us another view:

Folks in Jacksonville already tell us this correlates closely with neighborhoods that have a high % of African Americans.

When we analyze both sets of data, the census and the Caging List, we get a spreadsheet, which comes out like this:

Zip Census: TotPop Census: Blacks Census: % Black Count of Names in Caging List Projected Blacks Targeted > 50 people % Black for >50 % Black
for <50
32202 5085 3364 0.662 112 74.1 y 0.662  
32204 7733 3841 0.497 2 1.0     0.497
32205 30128 6189 0.205 6 1.2     0.205
32206 21217 17358 0.818 139 113.7 y 0.818  
32207 33773 7145 0.212 54 11.4 y 0.212  
32208 33744 25599 0.759 61 46.3 y 0.759  
32209 39739 38794 0.976 255 248.9 y 0.976  
32210 58345 14403 0.247 153 37.8 y 0.247  
32211 34597 9906 0.286 96 27.5 y 0.286  
32212 2480 691 0.279 55 15.3 y 0.279  
32215 865 197 0.228 1 0.2     0.228
32216 29375 5827 0.198 61 12.1 y 0.198  
32217 20218 3047 0.151 31 4.7   0.000 0.151
32218 37894 14870 0.392 119 46.7 y 0.392  
32219 9573 4025 0.420 14 5.9     0.420
32221 17657 1753 0.099 2 0.2     0.099
32222 4204 702 0.167 1 0.2     0.167
32223 25424 1159 0.046 21 1.0     0.046
32224 32588 2690 0.083 52 4.3 y 0.083  
32225 45745 7181 0.157 21 3.3     0.157
32226 8032 126 0.016 17 0.3     0.016
32227 5267 1262 0.240 7 1.7     0.240
32233 25384 4140 0.163 65 10.6 y 0.163  
32234 6185 539 0.087 3 0.3     0.087
32244 46852 9830 0.210 86 18.0 y 0.210  
32246 36012 6318 0.175 70 12.3 y 0.175  
32250 23944 1087 0.045 50 2.3 y 0.045  
32254 14801 7628 0.515 10 5.2     0.515
32256 29254 3606 0.123 91 11.2 y 0.123  
32257 36360 3175 0.087 59 5.2 y 0.087  
32258 12480 1019 0.082 3 0.2     0.082
32266 7233 44 0.006 20 0.1     0.006
32277 27640 8566 0.310 84 26.0 y 0.310  
Total 769828 216081 0.281 1821 749.1   0.335 0.194

Total % Black Targeted: 0.411



There are many ways of looking at this data. 

We can say that the average % Blacks for all the targeted zips was 28% (=216,081/769,828). The Projected  Blacks Targeted for each zip comes from multiplying the % of Blacks in that zip by the number of names on the list for that zip. This generously assumes names were originally chosen in a race neutral fashion. If we then take the total number of such Projected Blacks Targeted over all zip codes and calculate what percent of the total list they are (749.1/1821), we get 41% as Total % Blacks Targeted. This is considerably higher than the average % Blacks for all the zips, 28%.

We can also say that the average % Black in the zips where there were more than 50 people on the Caging List was 33% vs 19% in those zips with <50 people selected. Jacksonville Zips not on the Cage List at all have a much smaller % of Blacks.


This Caging List has given rise to a certain controversy, some of which is on where we learn that Mindy Tucker Fletcher, a spokeswoman for the Florida Republicans, claims that the this was "a listing of returned mail that came from a mailing that the Republican National Committee sent to new registrants in Duval County in Florida, encouraging newly registered Republicans, Democrats and Independents to vote Republican."

To our knowledge, no one has mapped out the data as we have.

Salon's War Room has an update:

"UPDATE: A few readers have pointed out that even if the Republicans are telling the truth that the list is only a compilation of bad addresses returned from a direct-marketing mail, its purpose could have been less than innocent -- to challenge voters on residency grounds (since the GOP would have some reason to believe their addresses didn't qualify). This is plausible; it's worth noting, and we should have noted earlier, that the RNC has in fact been accused of these actions before, and in 1987, in response to a civil rights suit, it signed a consent decree pledging not to do this. But Republicans told War Room that this was not the purpose of this list, and, so far, we have no way of proving them wrong."

Voter Suppression Becomes Biggest Election ‘Issue’ New Standard, 10/31/04

"News surfaced Tuesday evening that the Bush campaign’s Florida office has a list of the names and addresses of 1,886 voters in and around Jacksonville, Florida, a predominately black city inside Duval County, where official voter registration figures show Democrats have a nearly 50,000 person edge over Republicans.

In an October 26 broadcast of the BBC’s Newsnight, investigative journalist Greg Palast reported that Florida Bush/Cheney campaign officials are keeping a spreadsheet they call a "caging list.". The broadcast included portions of an interview with Ion Sancho, the Leon County election supervisor who headed up statewide recount efforts on the orders of the Florida Supreme Court back in 2000. Sancho has raised the possibility that the "caging list" will be used to challenge the eligibility of voters at the polls, an action permitted by an arcane law passed in 1895."

Secret Document Suggests GOP Preparing to Challenge Black Vote in Florida  10/29/2004 Democracy Now: "GREG PALAST: Yeah. That's why I’m grateful that you have run the report today. Because the Republican National Committee is threatening BBC, as they have done before with my reports, saying that if Greg Palast is on the air there will be no interviews for the network. From the Republican National Committee, which is, of course, cutting off the air supply of the news organization, and you can immediately see why American news organizations won't touch the story. That's basically that the Republican Party has a hit list of black people they're going to try to wipe out on Election Day, stop them from voting, and in particular, this has the effect of not only of intimidating the voters, eliminating voters, but in places like Jacksonville where three and four-hour waits are expected, this could entirely sabotage the voting operation. Understand, this is illegal if they're targeting black folk. It is against federal law." ...GREG PALAST: What you saw was a guy, Ion Sancho, who is probably considered the most experienced and respected of election supervisors in Florida. Unfortunately, my one mistake was to identify him as a Democrat, because the Republicans told me he was a Democrat. He's very independent, not affiliated with any party. He has also asked the parties not to challenge voters on Election Day. The supervisors have said it's really never been done in Florida history. This basically is an attempt to stop the entire voting process, bring it to a halt. As for registrations, what happened was that students, mostly Democrats, students filled out petition forms for medical use of marijuana, and it turns out they were signing the back of registration forms without knowing it, reregistering themselves as republicans. This was definitely tied to a republican-paid operation, and at least 4,000 of the forged registrations, which is a felony to forge registration, have been found, and Jeb Bush's department of law enforcement says that they don't have time for the next few weeks to get around to arresting the forgers. It's just -- this is just the beginning of the game."

New Florida vote scandal feared
  10/26/2004 BBC: by Greg Paslast - "Two e-mails, prepared for the executive director of the Bush campaign in Florida and the campaign's national research director in Washington DC, contain a 15-page so-called "caging list". It lists 1,886 names and addresses of voters in predominantly black and traditionally Democrat areas of Jacksonville, Florida. An elections supervisor in Tallahassee, when shown the list, told Newsnight: "The only possible reason why they would keep such a thing is to challenge voters on election day." "

Email which had the caging file as an attachment, still available on as of 10/30/04
-----Original Message-----
From: Tim Griffin - Research/Communications [] 
Sent: Thursday, August 26, 2004 6:34 PM
To:; Lindy Landreaux - Political []; Miriam Moore - Research/Communications []; Victoria Newton - Research/Communications []; Shawn Reinschmiedt - Research/Communications [];;;
Subject: Re: caging

Tim Griffin
Research Director and 
Deputy Communications Director
Republican National Committee
310 First Street, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003
w:(202) 863-8815
f: (202) 863-8744

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Kelly Porter []
> To: Lindy Landreaux - Political []; Miriam Moore - Research/Communications []; Victoria Newton - Research/Communications []; Tim Griffin - Research/Communications []; Shawn Reinschmiedt - Research/Communications []; []; Stephen Shiver []; []
> Sent: Thu Aug 26 18:12:49 2004
> Subject: caging

> Total as of today is 1834.

> Kelly

> ATTACHMENT: Caging-1.xls 

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