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Liberals start bashing Rick Scott's response to DOJ's voter-purge demand

Rick Scott's refusal to end a noncitizen voter purge drew a few liberal rebukes.

Progress Florida: ST. PETERSBURG – Progress Florida executive director Mark Ferrulo made the following statement in response to Gov. Rick Scott Administration’s letter that he will continue purging registered voters from Florida’s rolls despite the Department of Justice calling for the purge to stop:

“It’s now crystal clear that Floridians can't trust their own governor to protect our most fundamental democratic right, the right to vote. Scott’s action today means that Floridians must rely upon the Department of Justice, our County Supervisors of Elections, and if necessary the courts, to protect the fairness of our elections.

“Today’s announcement confirms what many of us already suspected: that Rick Scott will stop at nothing to continue the GOP’s disgraceful legacy of disenfranchising voters in Florida. The fact that Gov. Scott is using the nearly nonexistent threat of voter fraud as an excuse to continue his dragnet voter purge reveals his true intention to rig the 2012 election. We call on the Department of Justice to launch an immediate investigation into Gov. Scott’s disgraceful attempt to purge eligible Florida voters, particularly Hispanic and African American U.S. citizens, from the voting rolls.”

Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Boca Raton: "In his response to the Department of Justice, Governor Scott doubles down on the verifiably false assertion that Florida’s elections are at risk of being ‘diluted’ by voter fraud and blatantly ignores the thousands of legitimate voters targeted by his voter purge. It is time for the Governor of Florida to stop blaming the Department of Homeland Security for his own Administration’s violation of federal voter protection laws. Attempting to blame the Administration for his decision to proceed with this illegal purge that will strip eligible voters of their right to vote is politics at its worst. Stripping the right to vote from United States citizens is the real threat to the integrity of our elections, and that is precisely what Governor Scott’s plan will do."

As more and more Floridians find their voting rights in jeopardy, Congressman Ted Deutch has led an effort to bring national attention to a voter purge plagued by a lack of transparency, accuracy, and legal authority. Last week, after meeting with a decorated World War II veteran wrongly targeted by the purge, Congressman Deutch submitted a public records request for all communications related to the purge and the Scott Administration's concerns over supposed voter fraud.

The Brennan Center:

Florida’s Secretary of State announced today that the state will not suspend its voter purging efforts, despite a warning from the Department of Justice that it may violate federal law. The Brennan Center released the following statement:

“We are disappointed with Secretary of State Detzner’s decision to press forward with this misguided voter purge. The state’s planned purge, so close to the election, opens the door to errors, confusion, and the removal of eligible voters,” said Wendy Weiser, Director of the Democracy Program. “The Department of Justice was correct in raising a concern about this process.  The Sunshine State cannot continue to operate its election process in darkness.”

“Fortunately, many local election administrators have indicated they will not carry out the state’s plan. The opportunity for errors when conducting massive voter purges makes it imperative that purge practices be transparent, accurate, and carried out well in advance of an election. Only then can mistakes be corrected in time for a voter to cast a ballot that will count,” added Democracy Senior Counsel Myrna Pérez. “Consistent and uniform implementation of best practices will go a long way in ensuring that eligible voters are not thrown off the rolls by a stroke of the keyboard.”

 For more information on Florida’s voter purge, read this blog post from Brennan Center Senior Counsel Myrna Pérez.

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