Best Politician (2002)
Since winning the supervisor of elections post in 2000, this longtime school board member has pushed Broward County's voter-registration rolls higher than those of Miami-Dade's for the first time in history. She's also revamped the way locals vote -- but not without a fight. When she first floated the idea of ATM-style touchscreen machines, commissioners balked. They warmed to the idea a couple of months later and eventually passed a $17.2 million contract with Nebraska-based Election Systems & Software late last year. When some of the new machines showed up with dim screens, Oliphant came down hard on the company and persuaded it to fix the problem. And when the Broward Charter Review Commission tried to take away her control of her department's budget, it received a firsthand demonstration of Oliphant's clout: two rooms full of vocal supporters. Seems the woman in charge of the political process in Broward knows a thing or two about politics herself.