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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Florida Finally Wins Access To DHS Registry To Purge Ineligible Voters

By Susan Duclos

Florida has been battling with the Obama administration for access to the Homeland Security (DHS) registry of noncitizen residents to enable Florida officials to purge voter rolls of people who are on them but legally ineligible to vote in U.S. elections.

Via The Hill:

The decision was announced in a letter to state GOP Gov. Rick Scott, who has pushed for Florida to receive access to the Homeland Security (DHS) registry of noncitizen residents, the Associated Press first reported.

The administration had blocked Florida’s request for access to the database for months, but the decision to allow access was spurred by a court decision in another voting-rights case in favor of the state.

Via NYT:

The decision could give a boost to what has become a broad push by Republicans in several states to prevent voter fraud by expunging what they say are thousands of ineligible noncitizens from voter lists. 

Opponents of the Republican effort, who recognize that people who are not American citizens have no right to vote, have argued that the federal database, the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements, or SAVE, was never intended to be used for purging voter lists. They have also charged that the purge could violate voters’ rights laws and be used to discriminate against minorities. With so little time left before elections, they argue, anyone wrongfully purged could be barred from voting anyway. 

In June, Florida election officials were forced to halt the search for illegally registered voters amid fears that the lists of suspected noncitizens were deemed outdated and inaccurate.
But a few weeks later, a federal judge struck down a Justice Department request to halt the voter review indefinitely. Mr. Scott has insisted that the review was directed solely at preventing ineligible voters from participating in coming elections, including a primary set for Aug. 14. In a statement on Saturday, Mr. Scott hailed the decision to grant access to the database as a “step in the right direction.” 

“We’ve already confirmed that noncitizens have voted in past elections here in Florida,” he said. “Now that we have the cooperation of the Department of Homeland Security, our state can use the most accurate citizenship database in the nation to protect the integrity of Florida’s election process.”

 In each of the quoted portions above,  one specific part is emphasized, which shows the intellectual dishonesty of the Obama administration and opponents of states' that want ineligible voters purged from voter rolls.

According to the NYT piece, opponents, including the Obama administration, believe a purge of ineligible voters could discriminate against minorities.

Yet instead of making sure the most accurate data base is available and insisting it be used to prevent wrongful purging of legal voters, the Obama administration did everything in their power to block access to the registry and attempted to halt voter review indefinitely in the courts.

In a letter Saturday to Florida election officials, Ken Detzner, the secretary of state, said that the verification would begin as soon as an agreement is signed with the Department of Homeland Security and election officials are trained to use it. 

“It is an unfortunate but now undeniable fact that Florida’s voter rolls include a number of noncitizens,” Mr. Detzner said. “These ineligible registered voters must be removed to ensure the integrity of our elections.”

Every noncitizen that votes in any election is not only an illegal vote, but it also cancels out the vote of someone that is legally allowed to vote in elections. There is no integrity in that, and the Obama administration should be working with states to guarantee that legal voters are not cancelled out by illegally cast votes instead of doing everything in their power to work against them.


Voter Registration Forms Addressed to Dogs, Dead and Non-citizens