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DOJ to Florida: Stop noncitizen voter purge. Will FL fight DOJ?

U.S. Department of Justice ordered Florida’s elections division to halt a systematic effort to find and purge the state’s voter rolls of noncitizens.

Florida’s effort appears to violate both the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which protects minorities, and the 1993 National Voter Registration Act – which governs voter purges -- Christian Herren, the DOJ’s lead civil rights voting lawyer, wrote in a detailed two-page letter sent late Thursday night.

State officials said they were reviewing the letter. But they indicated they might fight DOJ over its interpretation of federal law and expressed frustration that the Obama administration has stonewalled the state’s noncitizen voter hunt.

“We are firmly committed to doing the right thing and preventing ineligible voters from being able to cast a ballot,” said Chris Cate, spokesman for Secretary of State Ken Detzner, who was ordered by Gov. Rick Scott to conduct the attempted purge.

So far, Florida has flagged 2,700 potential noncitizen voters and sent the list to county elections supervisors, who have found the data and methodology to be flawed and problematic. The list of potential noncitizen voters – many of whom have turned out to be lawful citizens and voters – disproportionately hits minorities, especially Hispanics.

About 58% of those flagged as potential noncitizens are Hispanics, Florida’s largest ethnic immigrant population, a Miami Herald analysis found. Hispanics make up 13 percent of the overall 11.3 million active registered voters.

Independent voters and Democrats are the most likely to face being purged from the rolls. Republicans and non-Hispanic whites are the least likely.

Under the Voting Rights Act, Florida needs federal approval before it makes changes to voting because five Florida counties -- Monroe, Hillsborough, Collier, Hardee and Hendry -- had minority-voting troubles decades ago.

"Our records do not reflect that these changes affecting voting have been submitted to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia for judicial review or to the Attorney General for administrative review as required by Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act," Herren wrote.

"Accordingly, it is necessary that they either be brought before that court or subitted to the Attorney General for a determination that they neither have the purpose nor will have the effect of discriminating on account of race, color, or membership in a language minority group under Section 5."

He gave the state until June 6 to inform the DOJ of its planned course of action: “Specifically, please advise whether the State intends to cease the practice discussed above, so that the Department can determine what further action, if any, is necessary.”

Herren also said that the National Voter Registration Act bans Florida’s effort because it says “a State shall complete, not later than 90 days prior to the date of a primary or general election for Federal office, any program the purpose of which is to systematically remove the names of ineligible voters from the official lists of eligible voters.”

As a result, Florida should have halted the effort on May 16, Herren wrote. He said the voter registration act also requires the “uniform, nondiscriminatory and in compliance with the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Florida elections officials say there’s nothing discriminatory or partisan about the effort at all. It’s simply trying to remove ineligible voters: felons, dead people and noncitizens.

To spot noncitizens, though, the state began comparing voter rolls with a Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle database that contains some citizenship information that the agency collects when people get a state ID such as a driver’s license.

But the citizenship data in many cases is out of date. That is, many people become citizens after they get their ID and then register to vote. But the highway safety database isn’t updated.

“The practice described above appears to be a program to systematically remove the names of potentially ineligible voters,” Herren wrote. “As a consequence, the practice appears to violate the NVRA.”

Cate, the state elections spokesman, said the state will have a full response soon. The agency also seemed to express frustration with the lack of help from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which maintains citizenship data but won’t share its database with Florida.

Detzner asked again for DHS help on Thursday.

“We provided information to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security today in hopes that the federal government would help us identify ineligible voters,” Cate said. “While this isn’t a response from DHS as to why they haven’t provided us access to their data, at least we know the federal government knows we take ineligible voters on the voter rolls seriously. We hope the federal government will recognize the importance of accurate voter rolls and support our efforts.”

Download DOJ Letter-1

Comments

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Michael

What a ridiculous argument from Eric Holder's morally bankrupt DOJ! There is absolutely NOTHING in the Voting Rights Act that allows illegal aliens to vote.

The process of purging illegal voters in Florida is long overdue. What a shame that the Obama Administration openly condones voter fraud!

JMadison

As long as the inelgible voters are not being purged because of their race it is not a violation of law. Of course Florida should fight this---anyone that takes the position that a state should not be able to eliminate inelgible voters from the voting rolls is a person that supports voter fraud.

Dewyne Douglass

Thanks for the Attorney General of the United States decision to not let them CROOKS in the Republican Legslature,the CROOK SCOTT and the Divison of elections steal another election!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

FifthColumnist

Can anyone name a case or incident of an illegal alien entering a voting booth and attempting or succeeding to fraudulently voting?

Please no heresay, fairy tales or lies. Just one factual case.....

Christopher

Ive yet to ever hear about an illegal voting, has anyone else? As much lenses that have been place on Florida Voting in the last 10 years, Ive never seen this take place so whats the reason for this sudden purge of eligible voters. GOP cant get folks to support them, so they do the next best thing, stop you from voting period.

whasup

Um ... FifthColumnist. We realize by your name that you espouse communist tactics.

But answer us this, how will we know if some illegal person is registered to vote without checking and getting appropriate documentation?

What are you afraid of?

And why is the administration in Washington withholding access to the best database to confirm that folks on the voter rolls are in fact citizens?

Yeah, we know you have nothing intelligent to say about this.

bentheredonethat

Why are perfectly eligible citizens being "purged" in this process, whas? Oh....they might be Democrats...I get it.

Therese Dion Cuba

President OBama had nothing to do with this. Citizens of Florida are fed up with gov rick scott's illegal practices and have CALLED ON DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE TO HELP THEM.....SCOTT IS WRONG! SURE LET'S PURGE DEAD PEOPLE AND ILLEGALS AFTER THE ELECTION....IN THE MEANTIME STOP PURGING USA VOTING ELIGIBLE CITZENS...IT CLEARLY MAKES YOU ILLEGAL!

WestBrowardPolitico

It's hilarious no matter what people try to do to cut down voter fraud it is considered unconstitutional. Why is it not ok to check someone's ID? Why is it not ok to take off non-citizens from the voter rolls?? I don't agree with purging US Citizens, but clearly this is a huge process and accidents are going to happen, just re-register to vote and call it a day... TOO MUCH HYPE!

blackyb

Our forefathers would not allow foreigners to come into our country and vote who were not citizens. They are thinking they can pull laws on people and use them for what they were not intended and say the crime that is being done at the voting booth is legal. That is bull crap. That idiot Holder is either a total fool or he is a criminal who is attempting to uphold voter fraud so that bunch of thugs in D.C. can finish overthrowing this nation.

blackyb

Was my other post to harsh? If so that is all the more reason you should have posted it.

blackyb

The computer is the one flagging them based on criteria that cannot be found. The computer has no way of knowing the race of someone. They are committing a crime against this nation to put American citizens in a position to have their votes counceled out by illegal voting. We are the ones who needs protecting, not people who are not even citizens or who are not eligible for one reason or other to vote.

blackyb

If an American citizen went to Mexico or some foreign country and attempted to vote, they would be jailed for years. This had better stop NOW. Florida had better stand up for their citizens and not take that any more. All states who find ineligibles should not allow them to vote. Require voter ID. Those who are eligible will have it, if someone does not have it they have to be assumed not to be eligible. These people need to be responsible for their IDs if they want to vote.

blackyb

Maybe Chavez or Putin or Castro would like a vote. Anyone? Just come on down these fools at the DOJ will say we are flagging you down because of your mustache, or shading, or something so they can allow Communists and Socialists or those voting for those socialist agendas will carry the election. How about anyone from the Mid East who wants a crack at keeping their favorite leftists or socialists in? Perhaps they could run one of their own. Have they already? Well they just think they can steal a states vote. Florida, the Feds are not being legal and are stalling you out. Take the law into your own hands for your citizens.

John

To those who ask has there been a single case of an illegal voting, have you tried looking? It took me only 30 seconds to find this video from a local ABC station in Florida.

Illegal Aliens Caught Voting and Stealing Elections In Florida In Vast Numbers
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILJDudUpct0

Sean

Why would someone be against eliminating voters who are registered illegally. It sounds like the dems need illegals to to win. I don't care what party you belong to; if they are illegal then get them off of the roles. The reason we don't hear about voter fraud is because the liberal media keeps it quiet. We have districts in Philadelphia where more people vote then there are registered voters. THIS IS FRAUD. Ed Rendell called it boys being boys. I call it a crime. I hope Florida fights this one.

Beceepircup

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ygmichaels

Important Voting Rules for Employers Regarding Your Employees’ Rights

This Tuesday, November 2, is election day across the country. It is important to note that most states have election laws in place to protect an employee’s right to vote without reprimand from their employer.

As such, Florida law imposes restrictions and penalties against employers to protect employees’ right to vote. Specifically, it is illegal for any employer to interfere with the voting process by threatening to reprimand or fire an employee on the basis of that employee’s vote, or failure to vote, in an election. Any organization or individual interfering with the voting process in violation of Florida law may be subject to severe penalties, including felony criminal prosecution.

Florida law says that an employee must not be reprimanded or fired for his or her participation in the election process. As a result, if you are contemplating a decision to reprimand or fire an employee and that decision might appear to interfere with voting rights in violation of Florida law, it is imperative that you proceed with extreme caution and consult with an attorney beforehand.

Even though the penalties for interfering with an employees right to vote are severe, employers are not required to go to extreme lengths to enable its employees to vote. For instance, Florida law does not require that employers provide employees with paid time off to vote.

Got questions?

Call or email the Gunster Employment Group through Cheryl St. George at: 561-804-4367 or cstgeorge@gunster.com


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