Florida Suing Federal Government Over Voter Purge

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

FL Dems Statement on Gov. Scott’s Announcement he’ll Sue DHS to Continue Voter Purge

Tallahassee, FL - Florida Democratic Party Chairman Rod Smith today issued the following statement in reaction to embattled Gov. Rick Scott’s announcement that he will sue the Department of Homeland Security in his continued effort to purge Florida voters from the rolls.

Statement from Florida Democratic Party Chairman Rod Smith:
“It is disappointing but predictable that this very unpopular Tea Party Governor would spend taxpayer dollars trying to discourage Floridians from voting – despite the directive of the Department of Justice and the concerns expressed by the state’s Supervisors of Elections. With all the serious problems in Florida, surely Rick Scott has something more important to do than focus on purging the voting rolls in pursuit of a problem that does not exist.”
Background:

A majority of Florida voters disapprove of Gov. Scott's voter purge, and his efforts are driving down his already dismal approval ratings. A recent Public Policy Polling survey found that "a majority (50-percent) of Florida voters disapprove of Scott’s push to eliminate some people from the registered voter rolls." Scott's already dismal approval ratings have plummeted to just 31-percent "as his voter-elimination efforts are beginning to surface (and be scrutinized) nationally" and "his effort is facing significant disapproval." [Public Policy Polling, 6/8/2012]

Gov. Scott's administration attempted to purge legal voters, including a veteran and small business owner. Bill Internicola, 91 year old decorated WWII veteran who has voted in Florida for 14 years received notice from Broward County stating he was ineligible to vote, as did Maureen Russo -- a small business owner who has been a registered voter in Florida for the last four decades [ThinkProgress 5/29/2012; ThinkProgress, 5/25/2012]

All of Florida's 67 Election Supervisors have suspended the purge. "Florida elections supervisors said Friday they will discontinue a state-directed effort to remove names from county voter rolls because they believe the state data is flawed and because the U.S. Department of Justice has said the process violates federal voting laws" [ThinkProgress, 6/2/2012]

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Florida Suing Federal Government Over Voter Purge

Tallahassee, FL (AP) -- June 11, 2012 --
by Gary Fineout

Florida Gov. Rick Scott says the state is suing the federal government because it will not allow the state to check the citizenship status of registered voters.

Scott announced the lawsuit Monday during a television appearance.

Florida last year began looking for non-U.S. citizens on the voter rolls. A comparison of driver's license records with voter registration records turned up as many as 182,000 registered voters who may not be U.S. citizens.

State officials have been seeking access to a federal immigration database to verify the matches. But that request has been turned down by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

So far the state has given a smaller list of more than 2,600 names to local election supervisors. But that list has come under fire for errors.

*** NOTE *** Attached please find a letter the Justice Department sent today to the Florida Secretary of State regarding its voter list maintenance program. The letter was sent in response to a letter from the Florida Secretary of State dated June 6, 2012.

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Florida to Challenge U.S. Government on Voter Purge

Tallahassee, FL -- June 4, 2012 --

Candidates lined up Monday to get their name of the ballot this year. Others mailed their paperwork, detailing the area they want to represent. The unanswered question, though, is who’ll be able to vote for them. The U.S. Department of Justice has shut down state efforts to examine voter rolls within 90 days of the August election. We asked Governor Rick Scott why he ordered the effort now.

“There’s no perfect time to do any of these things,” Scott said. “We just want fair elections. That’s what all of us want.”

The State says it has been trying to get Federal approval for the purge and the use of a federal database since last September. A trail of emails show that conference calls to were canceled by both sides.

As early as a month after first asking to use the database, the state was told it would need an alien database registration number for the computer to make the match. The Catch-22 is that the state doesn’t collect that number because it doesn’t register non-citizens.

What is clear is that the state is not giving up.

Reporter: The 90-day requirement doesn’t apply here, is that right?

“We’ll be addressing that in our letter to DOJ,” Secretary of State Spokesman Chris Cate said.

Reporter: And when will that letter go?

“We’ll send out our letter to DOJ this week,” Cate said.

Initial matches of voters to the state’s suspect list have gone overwhelmingly to the voter who was a citizen and properly registered.


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  • by A on Jun 12, 2012 at 08:17 AM
    OK the argument is that by purging the voter rolls it is infringing on the rights of some people to vote (that is my understanding of it) well why don't they just purge EVERYONE and make EVERYONE reregister and show ID that way no one group is singled out....problem solved.
  • by Margaret Location: tallahassee on Jun 12, 2012 at 07:55 AM
    62nitro - right on! If mr sancho doesn't wish to do his job (making sure EVERY voter is legally qualified to vote)then perhaps we can employ someone who will. For some, hatred of the governor is an illness. He is absolutely right in this.
  • by Tallynole Location: Tallahassee, FL on Jun 12, 2012 at 06:20 AM
    http://edition.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/10/26/voter.suppression/index.html There is a reason why there is a deadline to purge the rolls.. Why wasn't everyone considered with purging the rolls AFTER the November 2008 election... Would be much easier to purge after the election and then maintain the accurate rolls.. Why was this held to only 5 months before the general election?!?
    • reply
      by Great Question on Jun 12, 2012 at 10:29 AM in reply to Tallynole
      That is a great question. The answer to it is simple. For a long time - "many months" this state has been requesting an up to date database from the Feds (Holder) who have REFUSED to provide same. The timing of this incident is a statement of desperation not an effort to circumvent the existing laws.
  • by just do it on Jun 12, 2012 at 05:22 AM
    Stand up to Obama and Holder. If you aren't a citizen then you shouldn't vote. Period.
    • reply
      by tallynole on Jun 12, 2012 at 06:15 AM in reply to just do it
      Yes.. Violate the law that specifically states when the deadline to purge the rolls are! Violate the law in order to enforce the law!
  • by Anonymous on Jun 12, 2012 at 03:40 AM
    The Madison 9 were arrested on November 1, 2011. Justice delayed is justice denied. Have they been convicted? Have they been tried? When is the trial going to start? What is talking so long? It sounds like the state's case is weak. Has anybody plea bargained? The state needs a conviction badly. The state looks pretty ineffectual. The state needs to set an example and convict these alleged fraudsters and put them in prison for a long time to deter others. If the state has a case, that is.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jun 13, 2012 at 08:04 AM in reply to
      The Madison Nine keep requesting delays to build up their case because the state has them dead to right. If they were innocent they would be rushing to trial....
  • by Anonymous on Jun 11, 2012 at 06:06 PM
    The lawyers are making all the money, what a shame. We the taxpayers have the right to just say NO. No more stupid lawsuits. Stop the insanity.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jun 12, 2012 at 05:04 AM in reply to
      If the USA was not blocking Florida from creating honest voting rolls......
  • by Mrs. Gotrocks on Jun 11, 2012 at 05:39 PM
    Way to go Governor. Hmm, how should we pay for your lawyer friends for this go round in court? Let's cut law enforcement, teachers and firefighters. Hey, let's stop funding nursing care facilities.
    • reply
      by 62nitro on Jun 11, 2012 at 07:18 PM in reply to Mrs. Gotrocks
      What the heck is wrong with you people?! Your hatred for the governor has blinded you to the fact that there MIGHT be 180,000 people registered to vote in our state that should not be, and all you can do is give the governor jazz about trying to do something about it! How about stepping up and helping to insure we have fair elections instead of constantly crying like a bunch of 4 year old brats because your party lost the governors race. Come on, grow a pair and quit being partisan and start being Americans. Lets make sure our elections aren't stolen by ANYONE!
      • reply
        by Concerned Voter on Jun 11, 2012 at 08:07 PM in reply to 62nitro
        Yeah the WWII veteran and small business owner was a great start....
      • reply
        by annis on Jun 12, 2012 at 02:57 AM in reply to 62nitro
        I wonder where the Democratic Party gets this s--- from? I would think the majority of voters would want illegals and dead people off the voting rolls?!
  • by 62nitro Location: Tallahassee on Jun 11, 2012 at 05:03 PM
    Purging voters might indeed include some legally registered voters along with the dead people and illegals. Big deal. All they have to do is re-register by showing an ID and proving who they are. Something an illegal or dead person can't do. A small price to pay for the peace of mind of knowing that someone isn't voting under the name of your dead uncle or grandmother. I would gladly go register every year for the privilege of being able to vote. It's so sad that so many of you don't value that privilege, and yet have the audacity to criticize those of us that do.
  • by Anonymous on Jun 11, 2012 at 04:57 PM
    Out AG Pam Bondy will beat the criminal Fast and Furious AG E. Holder on this right after Obummercare is ruled unconstitutional.
  • by Tia Location: Tallahassee on Jun 11, 2012 at 04:49 PM
    Question? I want to know who is paying for this? Answer: Florida citizens, that's who. All that is for suing the federal government, then you guys should pay for it.
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