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Florida non-citizen voter purge postponed

phlatsphilphlatsphil Posts: 14,632 AG
Rick is wising up...

Florida non-citizen voter purge postponed

(Reuters) - Florida Governor Rick Scott's administration is abandoning its renewed effort to remove non-U.S. citizens from the voter rolls, the state's top elections official announced on Thursday.

Secretary of State Ken Detzner, in a memo to county election supervisors, said the latest attempt at a purge, which two years ago set off a number of legal challenges from voting rights groups, would be postponed until next year.

He said the state planned to wait until a new federal database, which helps track potential ineligible voters, is up and running.

The decision comes after Scott, a Republican, faced heavy criticism over Florida's attempts to identify people who are not American citizens on voter lists months ahead of the 2012 presidential elections.

Running for re-election this year, Scott has repeatedly said the aim of his efforts is to protect the integrity of the voter rolls.

However, advocacy groups have called the review of non-citizens a thinly veiled attempt to disqualify Hispanic and African-American voters who tend to vote for Democractic candidates.

The state's effort in 2012 sparked several lawsuits, including one by the U.S. Justice Department, which claimed the purge violated federal law since it was conducted less than 90 days before the election.

Florida officials at the time said they had drawn up an initial list of 182,000 potential non-citizens. But that number was reduced to fewer than 200 after election officials acknowledged errors on the original list.

Ion Sancho, a veteran Leon County elections supervisor, said he welcomed the state's decision.

"The number of ineligible individuals on Florida databases is statistically insignificant," he said. "The last thing supervisors need is another partisan-driven event to complicate our lives. The entire process has been driven by partisan politics, rather than voter integrity."

In identifying potential non-citizens two years ago, Florida officials sent their information to county election supervisors who then mailed letters to voters requesting proof of citizenship.

If no response was received, the voter was dropped from the rolls.

The effort was the subject of lawsuits from five voter protection groups, including the League of Women Voters of Florida.

Deirdre Macnab, the group's president, praised the state's decision to put off the purge, which Scott's administration calls "Project Integrity."

"Independently elected supervisors of election are already standing sentry on making sure that only eligible citizens are voting," she said.

"Programs like 'Project Integrity' have proven, time and time again, to disproportionately impact minority voters and erroneously disenfranchise those that are eligible."



  • Bimini TwistedBimini Twisted Posts: 11,444 AG
    Before too long Ricky will be pandering in Spanish.

    You know you have a problem when your billionaire Hispanic campaign donor quits due to racist comments from staff.
  • Only you two guys would find something wrong with purging non US citizens from the voter list!

    What I care about, is "Can my dog still vote"! he is gonna be pissed if he can't
  • sailfish2sailfish2 Posts: 4,275 Captain
    As long as they still allow the dead vote it's all good.
    Hoping for better luck next time...... and got it.

  • phlatsphilphlatsphil Posts: 14,632 AG
    Only you two guys would find something wrong with purging non US citizens from the voter list!

    How many citizens are you willing to disenfranchise to catch a couple of ineligible voters? I don't believe they caught more than a couple, and the ones they did catch "thought" they were eligible. As for immigrants, they really want to stay here, especially undocumented immigrants. They live and breath below the radar. They would have to be a complete idiot to submit a false voter registration and risk jail and/or deportation.

    It just doesn't happen. Period.
  • SWFL_F1sh0nSWFL_F1sh0n Posts: 17,248 Officer
    Only you two guys would find something wrong with purging non US citizens from the voter list!

    What I care about, is "Can my dog still vote"! he is gonna be pissed if he can't

    Problem is they are also purging people from the lists that have a right to vote.
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