Feds order Florida to halt ongoing push to remove ineligible voters from rolls

Family Security Matters

TALLAHASSEE, Fla –  Federal authorities are demanding that Florida halt  its push to remove ineligible voters from the voter rolls.

In a move that comes just months before the state could play a  pivotal role  in the 2012 presidential election, the U.S. Department of  Justice contends that  the state is violating federal law in its effort  to identify and remove  ineligible voters.

The state’s effort has already come under fire from local election   supervisors who belong to both political parties, as well as Democratic  members  of Congress and voting rights groups.

Chris Cate, a spokesman for the Florida Department of State, said  state  officials were still reviewing the letter, but hinted Florida may  fight federal  authorities.

“Bottom line is we are firmly committed to doing the right thing and   preventing ineligible voters from being able to cast a ballot,” Cate  said.

Florida, at the urging of Republican Gov. Rick Scott, began looking  for  non-U.S. citizens on its voter rolls last year. An initial search  turned up as  many as 182,000 registered voters who may not be U.S.  citizens.

Earlier this year state officials sent to local election officials a  much  smaller list of more than 2,600 voters and asked supervisors to  start the  process to remove them from the rolls.

Supervisors, however, have loudly questioned the accuracy of the  list, with  one GOP supervisor going on Twitter to show the picture of a  U.S. passport of  one voter found on the list. Earlier this week two  Democratic members of  Congress held a press conference with a World War  II veteran whose citizenship  had been questioned.

Federal officials said that the procedures the state is using to  identify  non-U.S. citizens has not been reviewed to make sure they are  not  discriminatory. Florida must get approval for changes in voting  procedures  because five counties are still covered by the Voting Rights  Act of 1965.

T. Christian Herren, chief of the voting section of the civil rights   division, also said that removing voters from the rolls less than 90  days  before a federal election also appears to violate federal law.  Florida’s  primary election is Aug. 14.

Herren’s letter gives Florida until June 6 to tell federal authorities  whether they plan to halt the purge.

Voting rights groups who had called on the U.S. Department of Justice to  intervene praised the decision.

“We commend the attorney general of the United States Eric Holder for   ensuring that the right to vote, the fundamental pillar of our  democracy is  protected for all American citizens,” said Advancement  Project co-director  Penda Hair in a statement.

The intervention of the U.S. Department of Justice came the same day  that  Florida officials were trying to get another federal agency to help  the state  verify the citizenship status of thousands of voters.

Secretary of State Kent Detzner wants the U.S. Department of Homeland   Security to let Florida have access to an immigration database  maintained by  the federal government.

“I hope you will understand the importance of making sure the vote of  an  eligible voter is not diminished by the vote of ineligible voter and  provide my  department the access it needs,” Detzner wrote to Secretary  Janet  Napolitano.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/06/01/feds-order-florida-to-halt-ongoing-push-to-remove-thousands-voters-from-rolls/#ixzz1wX1K9WAX

Read more: Family Security Matters http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/detail/feds-order-florida-to-halt-ongoing-push-to-remove-ineligible-voters-from-rolls?f=must_reads#ixzz1wbF8grcn Under Creative Commons License: Attribution

2 responses to “Feds order Florida to halt ongoing push to remove ineligible voters from rolls

  1. S. Elliot Rodax

    We commend the attorney general of the United States Eric Holder for ensuring that the right to vote, the fundamental pillar of our democracy is protected for all American citizens,” said Advancement Project co-director Penda Hair in a statement.

    This is not about ensuring the right to vote for American citizens. That right already exists. This is clearly about stopping illegal voting by illegal aliens. Nice attempt to spin this issue.

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