From news reports Sunday…
“Floridasays it will defy an order from theUSjustice department to stop purging its voter roll of people the state claims may not be American citizens. The justice department has warned that the practice, which critics describe as “voter suppression” byFlorida’s Republican administration aimed at stripping the ballot from people more likely to support Democrats, is illegal under federal laws. It has given the state until Wednesday to agree to halt the purge, something officials inFloridasay they have no intention of doing.”
“The warning issued this week by the head of the Justice Department’s voting section said the effort appeared to violate the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which protects minorities. It demanded a response by Wednesday. A spokesman for Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner said the state must make certain that only eligible voters cast ballots. “We have a year-round obligation to ensure the integrity ofFlorida’s elections. We will be responding to (the Justice Department’s) concerns next week,” Chris Cate said in an email message. Cate said in a subsequent telephone call that the state was still formulating its response.”
“Florida, a keyU.S.electoral battleground where the 2000 presidential election was decided by a few hundred ballots, will defy the U.S. Justice Department’s warning to stop its effort to purge ineligible voters, a state spokesman said on Saturday.
The warning issued this week by the head of the Justice Department’s voting section said the move to purge voters appeared to violate the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which protects minorities. It demanded a response by Wednesday. But a spokesman for Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner said the state must ensure only eligible voters cast ballots, and intends to go forward with the campaign.”
“On Friday, county elections supervisors showed so little faith in the state-led purge that their state association said they shouldn’t cooperate. The announcement came just hours after the U.S. Justice Department orderedFloridato stop its effort due to two federal voting rights laws, partly because the purge could disproportionately affect minorities. Florida Gov. Rick Scott wouldn’t rule out fighting the Justice Department in court. ‘We want fair elections,’ Scott said. ‘We want people who have the right to vote go out there and vote.’”
Tampa Bay Times—Feds step in to protect Florida voters
“It takes the federal courts and the U.S. Justice Department to defend democracy and protect Floridians from their governor and Legislature who are determined to suppress the vote.”
Orlando Sentinal—Florida should modernize its flawed voter-purge system
“These large-scale voter-purge programs end up being such disasters because they are conducted without the proper procedures and checks in place to avoid the erroneous removal of eligible voters. For example, the 2000 purge process was so imprecise that aFloridavoter named John Michaels could be removed from the voter rolls because his name was similar to that of Californian John Michaelson, who had a criminal conviction.”
Digital Journal—Florida officials defy federal warning to stop voter purge
“Despite warnings from the Department of Justice and objections from county elections officials,Florida’s Secretary of State plans to continue the effort to scrub the state’s voter registration rolls.”
The Miami Herald—Purge the purge list
OUR OPINION: Scott administration should focus on access to voters, not impose obstacles. The Scott administration’s attempt to purge the voting rolls of suspected noncitizens violates federal civil rights laws, the Justice Department warns, and the GOP-led Legislature’s law imposing a 48-hour deadline on the League of Women Voters, Rock the Vote and other third-party groups that hold voter registration drives is a bust, a federal judge rules. Democrats cry voter suppression. Republicans insist they’re simply trying to prevent voter fraud. Who’s right? The problem is the way state GOP leaders inFlorida (and various other GOP-led states) are going about it. They want to “prevent” a problem that there’s no evidence even exists.