Scott Says Voter Purge May Now Continue
July 17, 2012 | WMFE - After a year-long dispute with the federal government, the state of Florida has won access to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security citizenship database. Gov. Rick Scott says the state may now move forward with plans to purge potential non-citizens from voter rolls.
Gov. Scott told CNN Monday that he now sees no reason why elections supervisors can't continue taking non-citizens off the voter rolls.
"You know, it's very reliable data, so I can't imagine they're not going to go forward and make sure.” Scott said. “Because I don't know anybody, any supervisor of elections or anybody in our state that thinks non-U.S. citizens ought to be voting in our races."
But many county elections supervisors are resisting the purge and say they're waiting to review new data from the federal government.
Leon County Supervisor of Elections Ion Sancho says supervisors don't know when they'll get the federal lists or how accurate they'll be.
He also says Gov. Scott and Secretary of State Ken Detzner are inexperienced at running statewide elections.
"But those who have been here in 2000 and 2004 realize that if you produce a list that's highly inaccurate, in all probability what you're going to do is disenfranchise legal voters." Sancho said.
The state’s initial purge mistakenly included many people who were actually citizens. But state officials contend gaining access to the federal database is the most accurate way to verify the status of potential non-citizens.
Voting rights groups also argue that purging names so close to an election might not leave adequate time to correct any mistakes. The Florida Department of State says it will do its best despite Florida’s primary election being just one month away.