A new list of suspected non-citizen registered voters has been handed over to Supervisor of Elections in Florida, after a federal judge ruled it was okay for the state to remove voters who had registered illegally. The latest list contains 198 names, far fewer than the 1700 once suspected of registering to vote illegally. Governor Rick Scott is trying to use the purge to raise money for the GOP.
The list of suspected non-citizen voters once numbered more than 1700 based on driver’s license data, but the list was pared down using a Homeland Security database.
“We found that one hundred and ninety-eight potential non-citizens did have current information listed in the SAVE database, that we felt reliable enough to send two supervisors where they can began the removal process”, says Chris Cate, Spokesman for the Secretary of State.
Local supervisors are sending letters to the voters, telling them they have 30 days to respond or be removed from the roll. Jose Suarez from the Service Employees International Union, which took the purge to court and lost, says a ruling against them still doesn’t make it right. “And we shouldn’t make a group of citizens because of their last name or where they may have naturalized from jump through special hoops”, says Suarez.
Governor Rick Scott has said repeatedly the purge isn’t about politics. “This is not a partisan issue”, said Governor Scott in this past July.
But then he penned a letter from the Republican Party - lambasting Chicago cliché politics of voting early and often - mentioning Obama is from Chicago and that his “liberal allies” support illegal voters; all the while asking for money.
Democrats are quick to point out that the letter hit just about the same time Republicans got involved in their own voter registration scandal. “It’s shockingly hypocritical and Governor Scott and Republican Party of Florida should come clean”, says David Bergstrom, Florida Democratic Party Spokesman.
The state says it will work to identify more illegally registered voters, but is unlikely they’ll have their names removed before election day.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has opened a criminal investigation after looking at hundreds of suspect voter registration forms submitted in at least ten counties by a company paid by the Republican Party of Florida, however, the company is shifting the blame to contractors.