Feds to Florida Gov Rick Scott: Stop illegal voter purge efforts
Hopefully this will spur a Federal crackdown on nationwide efforts by Republicans to disenfranchise poor, elderly and minority voters who dont vote Republican.
The GOP really needs to spend more time governing and less time figuring out ways to manipulate elections.
By Scott Powers on June, 1 2012 11:37 AM
The Florida Secretary of State has been ordered by the U.S. Department of Justice to stop or justify its purge of suspect voters from voter registration rolls but the order might not stop much of the process put in action three weeks ago.
In a letter late Thursday, T. Christian Herren Jr. chief of the Department of Justice’s voting section, told Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner that the state’s plan to review the status of 2,600 suspected non-citizens, and purge them from the rolls if they are not confirmed as citizens is in violation of the National Voter Rights Act of 1965 and should be stopped.
In addition, any efforts in five Florida counties under federal court anti-discrimination orders, Hillsborough, Monroe, Collier, Hardee and Hendry should have been reviewed by the U.S. Attorney General or a U.S. District Court.
Herren wants a response from Detzner by next Wednesday and Detzner has promised he will respond.
But the process Detzner started on May 8, with notices going out to Florida’s 67 county supervisors of elections, is in the hands of the county supervisors of elections, regardless of the federal clash with Florida’s secretary of state.
Detzner distributed a list of 2,600 people who were listed by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles as non-citizens, but who also showed up on voter registration lists. Most of the names were in South Florida. Orange County had 81, Osceola, 26, Lake 13 and Seminole, 5.
The county supervisors of elections were in the process of trying to track down those people and get them to show evidence of whether or not they are citizens.
County supervisors are on their own to decide what they want to continue, and what they want to stop, said Secretary of State spokesman Chris Cate.
Orange County Elections Supervisor Bill Cowles, a Democrat, said his office will continue trying to track down voters on the list, but will not take any actions against any who do not respond.
On the other hand, the c0unty will purge any voters who respond to the letters volunteering information that indicates they are not citizens.
Seminole Elections Supervisor Mike Ertel, a Republican, mostlty agreed, though apparently is willing to go even further.
“We’re absolutely going to continue on with that process,” he said. “In the absence of an injunction, we’re nto going to stop the process itself.”
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