Miami-Dade's Supervisor of Elections Penelope Townsley has sent a letter briefing the county's mayor and commissioner about the new effort to spot and remove ineligible non-citizen voters from the rolls. Bottom line: the burden is on the voter and, if they don't respond by mail or notice their names in a newspaper ad a month or so later, they'll be stripped from the voter rolls.
The elections office does appear to be trying to help the needy, such as Miami’s Maria Ginorio, a 64-year-old from Cuba, who was featured in our story about the voter-roll numbers. She said she became a U.S. citizen in August 2009. She said she was angered by a letter she received asking her to go to the elections office to document her status. Ginorio, who said she typically votes by absentee ballot, is ill and homebound.
"I'm not going to do anything about this,'' Ginorio said. "I can't. I guess I won't vote anymore. I say this with pain in my heart, because voting is my right as a citizen.''
This morning, the elections office said it would reach out to her by phone and give her more help.
Here's an excerpt of Townsley's letter:
While this may cause the Department some hardship logistically since this is an unexpected new process at the start of a busy election cycle, the procedures themselves are not new. This process is set forth in Florida Statutes 98.075 and Rule 1S-2.041 for the removal of ineligible registered voters and is consistent with how we have been handling voters that the DOE believes to be ineligible for other reasons such as a person being a felon, deceased or mentally incapacitated.