Florida suing federal government over voter purge

The administration of Florida Gov. Rick Scott is headed to a legal showdown with two different federal agencies over a contentious voter purge.

Florida filed a lawsuit in a federal court in Washington D.C., demanding that the state be given the right to check the names of its registered voters against an immigration database maintained by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The lawsuit came the same day that the U.S. Department of Justice announced its plan to ask a federal court to block the state from pushing ahead with removing potential non-U.S. citizens from the voter rolls. Authorities contend that the state’s effort violates federal voting laws.

“Please immediately cease this unlawful conduct,” wrote Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez to Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner.

But Scott himself went on national television to defend the purge and the need to sue the federal government.

“I have a job to do to defend the right of legitimate voters,” Scott told Neil Cavuto of Fox News. “We want to have fair honest elections in our state and so we have been put in the position we have to sue the federal government to get this information.”

This latest action follows a lawsuit filed last week against the purge by a Hispanic civic organization and two naturalized citizens that was backed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida.

The litigation is unlikely to have much a practical effect since nearly every county supervisor in Florida had already suspended efforts to remove any of the potential non-U.S. citizens identified by the state.

But the legal skirmish is already becoming a flashpoint between Republicans and Democrats in this crucial swing state. Scott himself blasted the federal government over the voter purge during a tea party event held over the weekend.

It was Scott who last year urged state elections officials to start looking for non-U.S. citizens on the voter rolls. An initial comparison of driver’s license records with voter registration records turned up as many as 182,000 registered voters who may not be U.S. citizens.

But state officials did not release that list and instead sought access to a federal immigration database to verify the matches. That request so far has been turned down by Homeland Security.

Earlier this year, state officials sent local election officials a much smaller list of more than 2,600 voters and asked them to check the names. Voters who did not respond to supervisors could ultimately be removed from the rolls.

Supervisors, however, have questioned the accuracy of the list since hundreds on it have turned out to be citizens.

State records show 86 non-citizens have been removed from the voter rolls since April 11, and that more than half of them had voted in previous elections. Of the voters removed, more than half — 44 of them — were in Lee County.

No other county came close — Miami-Dade was next with 15 — suggesting that the Lee County Supervisor of Elections office was much more aggressive during the period in culling the voter rolls of ineligible voters.

While the names on the list do suggest that many of those purged are Hispanic, many of them have names that suggest they’re not, from Ardalan Heshmat in Alachua County to Lyudmyla Oleynkova, Stacey Lewis and Margaret White in Lee County.

Some of the names removed in recent weeks were discovered by supervisors independently and did not come from the list distributed by the state.

It is a felony for non-citzens to register to vote, and at least some of those removed are likely to face charges if local prosecutors pursue them.

Florida’s lawsuit contends that federal law requires Homeland Security to grant the state access to an immigration database which does not track native U.S. citizens but only those people who visit or immigrate to the country. Homeland Security officials said they could not comment on the lawsuit.

But Justice officials said it takes more than a name or birthdate to prove a match in the federal immigration database and that Florida has already conceded doesn’t have the right data. Perez wrote that the “significant problems you are encountering...are of your own creation.”

Perez added said that while federal authorities do not want non-U.S. citizens to vote “states cannot have unfettered authority” to remove voters from the rolls within 90 days of a federal election. Florida’s primary is Aug. 14.

“Where the registration status of eligible citizens is questioned close to an election, it creates significant confusion for both voters and election officials that cannot easily be resolved in the immediate pre-election period, when there is insufficient time to identify errors or remedy incorrect removals,” wrote Perez.

The federal government also contends the voter purge violates the 1965 Voting Rights Act because the procedures used to identify potentially ineligible voters have not been reviewed by the Justice Department.

Florida must secure approval for changes in voting procedures because five counties, including Collier, are still covered by the law because of a past history of discrimination.

The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.

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Comments » 75

CarpeVeritas writes:

How you purge the rolls is the issue. But dumb it down to just Obama Wants Illegal Voters. Sounds good, one sound bite. The goal isn't accuracy, but getting Willard elected.

Our sainted Governor, author of all that is good in Florida, would never do anything underhanded to personal gain. Never!

Other than that little Medicare boo-boo thingy.

KennyR (Inactive) writes:

Way to go Gov Scott!! Stand up to the thugocracy that is the Obama Administration.

savethewhalz writes:

Eric Holder and his Jefe have stepped on their junk big time with this issue. Even most Republican haters believe only genuine citizens of the United States of America should be allowed to vote.

Beachglow writes:

Good for Scott. He's got the guts to do what is right for our state.

woodguru writes:

in response to RobinofLocksley:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Go back to mehico illegal

Lemme writes:

Who pays for this bozo Scott? Are you willing to give up a couple million you stole?

newzhound (Inactive) writes:

Governor Scott's leadership on this issue is to be applauded.

woods311 writes:

My fellow Americans, and residents of Collier County, Florida, and the United States of America.

As we approach the most important elections in our history,
consider the possibility of a different choice, than voting for the "lessor of two evils."

That choice is "I.L.A.C."

"I lack" confidence in the promises of these candidates, "none of the above".

It is time to quit expecting the "Problem" to solve the "Problem"

I believe that there is a super majority out there that can stop the insanity.

If a "super majority" vote "I.L.A.C." on any candidates, in any race, no matter their party affiliation.
It means , to quote a Trumpisim, "You are Fired.", or "TERM" limits.

Give us "I.L.A.C," a "Fair Tax", , and a "Fully Informed Jury."

"I.L.A.C." will help elect people, who will give us the other two, with the added bonus of "TERM LIMITS".

After all the occupations, and tea parties, the only poll that counts, is the vote in November.

Let the people go to the voting booth armed with the awareness of "I.L.A.C."

I would like to see "I.L.A.C." on every ballot in the country.

It is doable, simple, and inexpensive to put a place on our ballot, so that we can vote "none of the above", "I.L.A.C.".
It can be done prior to the November 2012 elections.
If the politicians or bureaucrats won't do it, write in," I.L.A.C."

"I.L.A.C." works within the system provided by our founding fathers, to change our government when needed, at the "The ballot box."

Thanks to the power of the internet the idea of "I.L.A.C.", can be spread about this different choice, and the corrupt, self serving politicians can't stop it.

I believe, that just the awareness that people are considering " I.L.A.C." will cause the politicians to be more careful when making campaign promises.
If not, we will keep sending them home until someone "GETS IT"

We are hiring people for the most important jobs in the world here.
.Thank you politician for spending all that money and supporting the economy. "NEXT".

A peaceful revolution is possible, local, state and federal, "I.L.A.C.",

If we keep doing what we have always been doing, we will keep getting what we have always been getting.

"I.L.A.C." is not a third party, it is a different choice that says "I lack" confidence in the promises of these candidates, "none of the above".

"I.L.A.C." works within the two party system, and says to the "Democratic Party" and the "Republican Party", the "party" is over.

I.L.A.C." will cause the politicians to be more careful when making campaign promises.
If not, we will keep sending them home until someone "GETS IT"

We are hiring people for the most important jobs in the world here.

.Thank you politician for spending all that money and supporting the economy. "NEXT".

baldygrandpa writes:

Can ANYBODY cite a case where a non citizen has been prosecuted for voting in Florida?

Me thinks this is a storm in a teacup and a waste of taxpayer money.

Carrot_Stick writes:

It is funny to read the republican ramblings on these comments....no data nor supported conclusions; only right-wing theory that we have been hearing over and over again.

I'm happy Scott is suing the US govt so that we will all eventually see that Scott's approach to this issue is beyond s----- and borders treason.

In any case, no point of arguing our OPINION, because the court system is about to get involved.

By the way Ricky, who is paying for this law suite?

Rick Scott continues to embarrass this state. What an idiot!

There is a right way to do things and then there is Rick Scott's way of doing things. The country laughs at us idiots in Florida for voting such a s----- person into office. I assume his actions are due to stupidity, otherwise they can only be explained by corruption. Hhhhmmm....which is worse, stupidity or corruption?

bryles123 writes:

It's simple legal citizens get to vote!!! If you are not legal citizen begin the process to become legal and then you can vote. Seems pretty cut and dry. If you don't like it move on!!!! At some point in each of our family's histories we all had to become a legal citizen whether by birth or proper documentation. Again follow the steps. I am not saying non-citizens can never vote they just need to become legal citizens.

nosebreather writes:

SAVE wasn't intended for this purpose, and the State has known since last year that they weren't getting access. Why wait until after the deadline to begin the purge? Follow the money, the taxpayer money that Scott is funnelling to his attorney buddies to fight for his follies. Let's get to work, lawyers.

firejoke writes:

in response to nosebreather:

SAVE wasn't intended for this purpose, and the State has known since last year that they weren't getting access. Why wait until after the deadline to begin the purge? Follow the money, the taxpayer money that Scott is funnelling to his attorney buddies to fight for his follies. Let's get to work, lawyers.

There is no deadline for those who registered illegally. God you are dense.

Francophile2 writes:

This is a solution searching for a problem! Get real ... Open your eyes! Scott would rather spend our money on lawyers for a lost cause! Tell that to the WWII decorated veteran who has been asked to prove his citizenship. Florida leaders are an embarrassment!

nosebreather writes:

"There is no deadline for those who registered illegally. God you are dense."
There is a deadline for the WAY this is being done. 67 county Supervisors of Elections agree. Oh, wait, ALL of them are dense and don't know their job as well as you.

nosebreather writes:

The problem is all of the LEGAL voters that Scott wants to remove along with them.

firejoke writes:

in response to nosebreather:

"There is no deadline for those who registered illegally. God you are dense."
There is a deadline for the WAY this is being done. 67 county Supervisors of Elections agree. Oh, wait, ALL of them are dense and don't know their job as well as you.

More misinformation. All 67 SoE's are not in agreement. Please post a link showing where all 67 have said that they agree but beware I already have a link ready for a SoE that has publicly stated the purge is continuing.

firejoke writes:

in response to nosebreather:

The problem is all of the LEGAL voters that Scott wants to remove along with them.

Another lie. Scott does not want to remove any eligible voter. As I found out last night, any eligible voter mistakenly on the list and does not clear up their eligibility issues can still cast a provisional ballot until they do show that they are eligible.

Ruger writes:

in response to nosebreather:

The problem is all of the LEGAL voters that Scott wants to remove along with them.

[citation needed]

Lies, lies and more lies from the democrats, this is really getting old.

Democrats just want to cheat, its as simple as that.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UEsQ5u...

Gov. Scott calls on DHS to give FL the SAVE Database

firejoke writes:

That article quotes 2 SoE's, 1 of which is an appointed political hack, you have 65 to go. Try again.

nosebreather writes:

OK, so you have one. As long as Bay County makes contact with them prior to removing them, there is no problem, and with only 7 to worry about they should be able to do it. Where it becomes in violation is when they remove people within 90 days simply because the person didn't come to them and prove their citizenship, which is what Scott is calling for.

firejoke writes:

in response to nosebreather:

OK, so you have one. As long as Bay County makes contact with them prior to removing them, there is no problem, and with only 7 to worry about they should be able to do it. Where it becomes in violation is when they remove people within 90 days simply because the person didn't come to them and prove their citizenship, which is what Scott is calling for.

I just showed you, in a previous post, that those mistakenly on the list are not being removed.

How do you propose that those mistakenly on the list have the situation corrected?

nosebreather writes:

From the article: "The 67 county elections supervisors — who have final say over voter purges —are not moving forward with the purge for now because nearly all of them don’t trust the accuracy of a list of nearly 2,700 potential noncitizens identified by the state’s elections office."
When it says "The 67", I took it to mean ALL 67. Apparently, Bay County stated last night that they would continue the purge. Thank you for pointing that out.

nosebreather writes:

They haven't been removed because the 30 days isn't up yet.

firejoke writes:

in response to nosebreather:

From the article: "The 67 county elections supervisors — who have final say over voter purges —are not moving forward with the purge for now because nearly all of them don’t trust the accuracy of a list of nearly 2,700 potential noncitizens identified by the state’s elections office."
When it says "The 67", I took it to mean ALL 67. Apparently, Bay County stated last night that they would continue the purge. Thank you for pointing that out.

Bay County is not the only one. Unless you produce a link to every SoE showing where they stand on the issue then your statements about the 67 agreeing are complete folly.

firejoke writes:

in response to nosebreather:

They haven't been removed because the 30 days isn't up yet.

You prove that you are even more dense than I thought. Those mistakenly on the list WILL NOT BE REMOVED. They will be able to cast a provisional ballot until they show that they are eiligible.

CarpeVeritas writes:

in response to bryles123:

It's simple legal citizens get to vote!!! If you are not legal citizen begin the process to become legal and then you can vote. Seems pretty cut and dry. If you don't like it move on!!!! At some point in each of our family's histories we all had to become a legal citizen whether by birth or proper documentation. Again follow the steps. I am not saying non-citizens can never vote they just need to become legal citizens.

I'm fairly certain that every person commenting here agrees with you.

But that's not the issue! Scott claims all he wants is to keep Pedro from the Polls, I know.

How the Governor does it is the issue.

The claim is that his method stinks. Many with no trust in this man also believe that the effect of purging more Democrats than Republicans was deliberate, not some odd coincidence.

nosebreather writes:

How about you produce links to all the ones you claim are continuing? Oh, so the rest of the country is supposed to wait on these "provisional ballots" out of Florida for the presidential election to become official? Give me a break.

firejoke writes:

in response to CarpeVeritas:

I'm fairly certain that every person commenting here agrees with you.

But that's not the issue! Scott claims all he wants is to keep Pedro from the Polls, I know.

How the Governor does it is the issue.

The claim is that his method stinks. Many with no trust in this man also believe that the effect of purging more Democrats than Republicans was deliberate, not some odd coincidence.

So you believe that of all the illegal aliens that are illegally registered to vote, there should be a relatively equal number of democrats and republicans?

firejoke writes:

in response to nosebreather:

How about you produce links to all the ones you claim are continuing? Oh, so the rest of the country is supposed to wait on these "provisional ballots" out of Florida for the presidential election to become official? Give me a break.

That's not how the system works. I don't have to show where they all stand. Your statement has been proven factually inaccurate and that is the extent of my responsibility.

Presidential election? I thought you were concerned about the 90 day rule?

I'll ask again. How do you propose that those mistakenly on the list have the situation rectified?

nosebreather writes:

Whatever, joke, my statement was accurate based on the info I had at the time. The fact that one SOE is now saying they will continue doesn't change much.
According to this article, http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2012/06/12... , "Florida law allows those who were removed to get back on the rolls and, if necessary, cast a provisional ballot on Election Day." So, provisitional ballots would be cast AFTER the voter has been removed.

nosebreather writes:

Sorry, wrong election.

grouper25 writes:

It is worth noting that Thomas Perez was the former President of the Board of Directors for Casa de Maryland, the far left pro-illegal immigration organization who has been indirectly funded by the likes of liberal billionaire George Soros and the socialist leader of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez.

What a joke this is. Its all about getting Obama all the votes they can muster. No voter fraud is this country, right Mr Holder?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5p70Y...

nosebreather writes:

In answer to your question, those on the list should not have the burden of proof on them at this point. Within 90 days, the burden of proof falls on the state.

nosebreather writes:

So, we've got the former president of one criminal organization (Casa de Maryland) vs. the former CEO of another criminal organization (HCA). Gotta love the state of American politics today.

miamia writes:

in response to nosebreather:

Whatever, joke, my statement was accurate based on the info I had at the time. The fact that one SOE is now saying they will continue doesn't change much.
According to this article, http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2012/06/12... , "Florida law allows those who were removed to get back on the rolls and, if necessary, cast a provisional ballot on Election Day." So, provisitional ballots would be cast AFTER the voter has been removed.

"So, provisional ballots would be cast AFTER the voter has been removed"
_________________________________________________

Not so...if the voter was romoved, the vote would NOT be counted. That's the whole reason for allowing the "provisional vote". If the voter is deemed not to be an acceptable voter and therefore removed, the vote would NOT be counted.

Common sense please!

miamia writes:

in response to firejoke:

That's not how the system works. I don't have to show where they all stand. Your statement has been proven factually inaccurate and that is the extent of my responsibility.

Presidential election? I thought you were concerned about the 90 day rule?

I'll ask again. How do you propose that those mistakenly on the list have the situation rectified?

"Ill ask again. How do you propose that those mistakenly on the list have the situation rectified?"
________________________________________________

Those mistakenly on the list swear on a "Provisional Ballot" that they are qualified to vote and their vote will count only after it's proven that they're qualified to vote. That's why it's called a "Provisional Ballot".

I hope this helps!

NeezDutz writes:

This is very interesting.
I have read most of the comments and find it funny that proof has been provided that illegal aliens have voted.
We as Americans, Legal Americans have the right to vote. At this point, there are people that are voting illegally and something is being done about it. Yet, there are some here that feel as if this is a waste of tax payer money...upholding the law and the Right that our forefathers/mothers fought and died for.
BUT when it was brought up that the Obama administration was wasting money with a lawsuit against Arizona for "backing the rights of illegals"...it was crazy.

From what I see here is this. It's okay to break Federal Laws and demand rights, as long as it is in the best interest of the Obama administration

straighttalkinnaples writes:

"State records show 86 non-citizens have been removed from the voter rolls since April 11, and that more than half of them had voted in previous elections. Of the voters removed, more than half — 44 of them — were in Lee County."

Geez, what does the Supervisor of Elections in Lee county think she's doing?

Apparently, she's doing her job!!!

CarpeVeritas writes:

in response to firejoke:

So you believe that of all the illegal aliens that are illegally registered to vote, there should be a relatively equal number of democrats and republicans?

Sigh. The question isn't about how illegal aliens register to vote. I can't assume with any chance of being correct how they register, and neither can you.

No one wants them to vote.

The majority of those purged are Democrats. What percentage of them are illegal aliens is the question, for pete's sake.

In 2000, at least 1,100 eligible voters were wrongly dropped from Florida voting rolls. That time, we were against felons voting.

In 2012, we have no idea of any exact figures yet, but now that we are playing the evil alien card, it's déjà vu all over again.

It's not about the illegal aliens voting, like GW's brother wasn't out to just get felons off the roles.

What a politician says is his motive seldom is. Especially a former embezzler of federal funds. The gov. escaped becoming a felon with the classic "gee I don't know what goes on around here" defense.

Colorado (Inactive) writes:

in response to KennyR:

Way to go Gov Scott!! Stand up to the thugocracy that is the Obama Administration.

It's amazing how dumb you single digit conservatives are. Watch more fox, but be careful, it will make you go blind.

DinNaples writes:

in response to nosebreather:

"There is no deadline for those who registered illegally. God you are dense."
There is a deadline for the WAY this is being done. 67 county Supervisors of Elections agree. Oh, wait, ALL of them are dense and don't know their job as well as you.

False. Not all counties agree. How much do you want to bet that the only ones that are not pursuing this are controlled by Democrat supervisors?

DinNaples writes:

in response to nosebreather:

The problem is all of the LEGAL voters that Scott wants to remove along with them.

Prove it.

jvic47 writes:

I believe scott is justified in what he is doing.Once you stop challenging the federal govt.you are on the path to communism!

DinNaples writes:

in response to CarpeVeritas:

I'm fairly certain that every person commenting here agrees with you.

But that's not the issue! Scott claims all he wants is to keep Pedro from the Polls, I know.

How the Governor does it is the issue.

The claim is that his method stinks. Many with no trust in this man also believe that the effect of purging more Democrats than Republicans was deliberate, not some odd coincidence.

So you are admitting more democrats are illegal voters than republican.

Listen, no one not eligible is to cast a ballot.

DinNaples writes:

in response to nosebreather:

How about you produce links to all the ones you claim are continuing? Oh, so the rest of the country is supposed to wait on these "provisional ballots" out of Florida for the presidential election to become official? Give me a break.

Hey dumbie. If not a single county is doing this what's the fuss all about?

Z07 writes:

Isn't it interesting that the democrat party doesn't want to have citizens prove their eligibility to vote at the polls? I wonder why that is? Actually, no I don't.
Isn't it interesting that attorney general Holder is holding out on congress about the facts in the ''fast and furious'' gun running scheme to the point that he is in contempt of congress? I wonder why that is? Actually, no I don't.

CarpeVeritas writes:

in response to DinNaples:

So you are admitting more democrats are illegal voters than republican.

Listen, no one not eligible is to cast a ballot.

THE ASSUMPTION THAT ALL WHO ARE PURGED ARE ILLEGALS IS WHAT'S BEING CHALLENGED! SHEESH.

I apologize for the caps, but how many times do I have to say the same thing?

And thank you for informing me ineligible voters shouldn't vote.

naples4kids writes:

in response to baldygrandpa:

Can ANYBODY cite a case where a non citizen has been prosecuted for voting in Florida?

Me thinks this is a storm in a teacup and a waste of taxpayer money.

Or how about dead people, I always see corpses voting a the polls on election days - that is a huge problem here in la Florida...

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