Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Governor Scott Mired in Legal Swamp Over Florida Voter Purge


From Neil Cavuto's interview on Fox with Governor Scott - Via Newshounds

Scott told Cavuto, “The debate’s over... We’ve found individuals that are registered to vote, they don’t have a right to vote, they’re non-citizens, and they voted. I have a job to defend the right of legitimate voters… We’ve been asking for the Dept. of Homeland Security database save for months, and they haven’t given it to us. So this afternoon, …the Florida Secretary of State’s office will be filing a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security to give us that database. We want to have fair, honest elections in our state.”

Cavuto honed in on the lack of support for Scott. “Sixty seven election supervisors in your state won’t resume this purge. So what does that tell you?”

Scott responded, “We have 86 individuals that registered to vote that didn’t have the right to vote. We know 46 of ‘em did. We cannot afford to dilute the rights of citizens their vote.”

Cavuto wasn’t buying it. “Your critics, Governor, say since this purge list, you found not even a dozen who should be voting, 500 others were found to be actual citizens.” He suggested Scott may not be getting “enough bang for the bite.”

“I can understand where you’re coming from,” Cavuto said sympathetically, “But let’s say you’re found to be a citizen, you’re still on that list… you’re in a world of voting hurt?”

Scott answered, “There’s a due process… The Supervisor of Election in the County sends out a letter, you have an opportunity, 30 days to respond, after that, they have to put it in the paper, after that if you don’t respond, and you’re not on the rolls, when you go vote, you have a provisional vote… Not one person has been eliminated from the rolls that has a right to vote.”

Here’s where Cavuto revealed what was likely his biggest concern (and probably that of Fox and the Republican Party) “What alarms me is that even in your state, it seems like a lot of Republicans don’t have your back.” He cited Senator (and potential VP candidate) Marco Rubio's silence as evidence of lack of support.

Scott said, “My job is to enforce the laws.”

Cavuto said, “The ACLU and others predictably say that you’re targeting minorities, this violates the 1965 Voting Rights Act, and that this is setting up bad political news for up badly for you and your party in the fall.”


From a Letter by Assistant U.S. Attorney General Thomas E. Perez at the Department of Justice:
Via The Miami Herald

...“As one would expect with a new program that has not previously been tested against real-world information, your program has critical imperfections, which lead to errors that harm and confuse eligible voters. Especially where the program is based on information collected sometimes years ago from driver’s license applications, the information is often going to be outdated, as a number of persons will subsequently have become citizens and lawfully registered to vote. Your data appear to be faulty in other ways that have resulted in native-born citizens, including a decorated World War II combat veteran, being sent letters demanding that they affirmatively prove their citizenship. We are aware that one county election supervisor who reviewed a state-provided list of over one thousand potentially ineligible voters determined that the list had a significant error rate, and that she advised you that further use of the list would ‘potentially disenfranchise eligible voters based on an inaccurate list.’”…
“This new program is therefore legally unenforceable in the five covered counties in Florida…”

“We are concerned about the inaccuracies in your letter regarding your request to access this program…”

“In short, your claim that the Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security have worked in concert to deny Florida access to the SAVE Program is simply wrong,” Perez wrote. “The significant problems you are encountering in administering this new program are of your own creation.”


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