Feds order Florida to halt ongoing push to remove ineligible voters from rolls
Published June 01, 2012 | Associated Press
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.