Luis Ortega, 29, of Tampa, is the kind of person Gov. Rick Scott has been targeting. He is not a U.S. citizen. And he has voted in a Florida election.
Ortega’s name was included among 2,625 suspected noncitizens on the now-famous voter purge list. Though discredited by county election supervisors, the list remains a topic of intense partisan debate and subject of a legal fight between Florida and the federal government.
Scott says he’s determined to preserve the integrity of the voting process by eliminating noncitizens from the rolls.
A Herald/Times review of voter information from Florida’s largest counties, however, has identified only six noncitizens as having voted so far. A mistake Ortega is the only noncitizen in the Tampa Bay area who is known to have cast a vote.
He now says it was a mistake.
Two voters were identified by the Miami Supervisors of Elections as having voted, one of them one time and the other seven times since 2000. Collier County identified two noncitizens who voted in 2010. And Orange County officials found a woman there who voted twice in 2008 even though she was not a citizen. All of their names are being forwarded to state attorneys for potential prosecution.
Our story from Thursday night/Friday questions whether and how many more noncitizens will be found now that the elections supervisors have essentially stopped participating in the purge. That story is here
And this story here details the first lawsuit against the state by the ACLU over the purge.