Voter Rights Groups Continue to Battle State Over Purge
July 19, 2012 | WMFE - Grassroots organizers are collecting thousands of signatures asking the US Justice Department to continue its fight against Florida's controversial voter purge. Last weekend, state officials announced the federal government was handing over an immigration database. Gov. Rick Scott says the database is essential to the state's effort to remove non-citizens from its voter rolls.
Progressive groups are mobilizing to demand the federal government investigate the state’s efforts and halt the purge.
Badili Jones works with Florida New Majority.
“Among other things, we are collecting signatures around the country and in the state of Florida.” Jones said. “We have over 200,000 signatures right now, nationwide and more than 22,000 here in Florida.”
Jones’ group is working with national groups such as MoveOn.org to petition the federal government.
Damien Filer is political director for another of the groups, Progress Florida.
“Each of our groups has been collecting petitions aimed at the Department of Justice, which has acknowledged that there is a problem in Florida and who has locked horns with Governor Rick Scott in an effort to try and ensure that legally registered voters will not be purged and will not be intimidated from voting.” Filer said.
Florida’s voter purge has been effectively stopped for now.
State officials insist that the purge is necessary to remove ineligible voters from the rolls and say the federal database gives more accurate list to check for names of non-citizens.