« Rep. Bilirakis to DHS: Why won't you help FL with noncitizen voter hunt? | Main | Connie Mack: I don't need to debate Republicans in Senate primary. It's over »

Rep. Rooney to DOJ: Why are you allowing potential voter fraud?

A letter from Rep. Tom Rooney to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder over his agency's decision to fight Florida's noncitizen voter purge:

Florida has uncovered a widespread problem of illegal and erroneous voter registration, exposing as many as 182,000 registered voters as non-U.S. citizens. The Department of Justice has an obligation to work with the state to prevent voter fraud and ensure that illegal votes are not cast, yet your department has consistently obstructed Florida’s efforts and has been either unresponsive or outright hostile to legitimate requests for information.

Your department has now directed the state of Florida to stop removing non-citizen voters from registration rolls. This direction is not only groundless, it stands in stark contrast to federal laws directing states to coordinate voter registration records and ensure their accuracy. Your actions further demonstrate that the Department of Justice, under your leadership, is more concerned with protecting the reelection prospects of the President than with upholding justice and enforcing the rule of law.

The Help America Vote Act of 2002 explicitly directs states to ensure that voter registration records are accurate by coordinating them “with other databases within the State.” Florida has complied with that law by checking registration records against driver’s license records. Your department now claims that this procedure required pre-approval under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. That claim is simply untrue.

Section 5 applies to only five counties in Florida, not the entire state, and it only requires those counties to get pre-approval from the Justice Department or a federal court before making changes to voting procedures or rules. Florida has always, in accordance with federal law, used state databases to confirm citizenship information, so this does not constitute a “change” that would require pre-approval. Even if Section 5 did apply, it would not apply to the entire state, so DOJ cannot stop these efforts statewide. Furthermore, House bill 1355, which was pre-approved by the Justice Department, allows the secretary of state to use sources like DMV records to remove registrants who are not U.S. citizens.

Your department also alleges that the removal violates Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act, which prohibits the removal of names from voter registration rolls within 90 days of an election. This claim is also false. Section 8 applies to previously eligible voters who have become ineligible for certain reasons, like moving out of state. It does not apply to voters who have become ineligible through death, criminal conviction, or mental capacity. Section 8 does not apply to voters who were ineligible at the time they registered, which is a felony, including noncitizens.

Even if Section 8 did apply, Florida is in the position of purging the voter rolls at this time only because the Obama Administration violated federal law by refusing Florida’s request to compare registration records with the Department of Homeland Security’s records on noncitizens. If not for the Obama Administration’s stonewalling, this necessary purge of illegal voters would have been completed nine months ago, when the state requested this information.

While your department should be working with Florida to stop voter fraud, you are instead actively working to keep noncitizens – who have committed a felony – on our state’s voter rolls. It is time for you to end your blatant politicization of your position as Attorney General and the Department of Justice as a whole. Please direct the Voting Section of the Department to end its baseless efforts to stop Florida from removing illegal, noncitizen voters from its registration rolls, and please direct your Department to uphold its obligation to prosecute those who have committed a felony by registering to vote illegally.

Sincerely, Thomas J. Rooney Member of Congress

Download Rooney

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

GAIL

MR ROONEY:THANK YOU FOR LOOKING OUT FOR AMERICAN CITIZENS.I FEEL WE ARE BEING SWEPT UNDER THE CARPET.THANK YOU AGAIN.

John N Florida

Rep. Rooney; do the words "Not within 90 days of an election" ring a bell in your legal trained mind?
Does August 14, 2012 ring that same bell?
Are there LESS than 90 days between NOW and August 14, 2012?
Even the Elections Supervisors, both Republican and Democrat,can READ a calendar.
At your pay grade I guess your Secretary will need to do that for you.

Stanley Goodwrench

This whole thing is crazy. I totally agree with this whole thing. If you are legally allowed to register, then go to http://registertovote.org and get registered to vote. We cant let anyone steal this election

Liberty27

Our country is changing at such a rapid pace and not for the better.

We talk of voter fraud but what about the nearly one million tax paying citizens who have completed their contracts handed down to them by a court of law by completing due process and are still being denied the right to vote in Florida? Florida has some of the harshest disenfranchisement laws for voters in the country. The other 47 states in our country restore these rights after completion of sentence. Gov Scott and Pam Bondi have extended this disenfranchisement to last a live time for most of these men and women. Only 78 had their rights restored last year by the Florida Executive Board of Clemency. Their agenda is not to help these men and women, who served their time, get reestablished back into their communities. They must continue to struggle as second class citizens along with their families’ right along side of them.

I have always loved history. It was always my favorite subject in high
school and college. I have always felt that if we failed to learn from the lessons that history teaches us we are bound to repeat the same mistakes. Our founding fathers established a government that they wanted to stand the test of time. By forming our Constitution grounded on moral Christian truths and values of the ages was perfect. They knew that these truths were constant and will never change. Our constitution is being eroded and watered down by today's moral decay. Some politicians down through the centuries have always bent to the popular demands of the people of their day. We have a silent majority in this country that I believe can turn this around.

I am passionate about civil rights. I served to help defend those rights in the military when my country put out the call for service. I see our freedoms and liberties that are supposed to be protected by our constitution not being preserved. Many are saying that this document is outdated and should be revised or even replaced. If we are not diligent in protecting these freedoms they can be taken away from us. Freedom is not free but comes with a price. My website www.aarcr.org is meant to open up a dialogue about what is currently happening in our country. Every year the number of Americans that are being disenfranchised as American citizens is increasing. We are not addressing the root problems of this rise but only putting people away for awhile as a fix all and not trying to help them get reestablished after they have paid their debt to society. The problem for these men and women started in the family but we can help to reeducate and rehabilitate these individuals at a far lower cost and help to give them a new lease on life. Our country spent over $74 billion dollars last year in growing our correctional system. This system is broke. There is a better way. It is sad to say that we were not all created equal in how we were raised as a child. A good many were brought up in broken homes and dysfunctional families and had to fend for themselves because the parent was either to busy working to pay the bills or just did not care. There is something terribly wrong with this. There is a better way. Put them away and throw away the key I have heard some say. When this hits closer to home I do not believe they will be feeling this way. This is what I believe to be true:

Justice without serving a function is oppression.
Punishment without serving a purpose is persecution.

Our justice system in this country is broke and in need of major repairs. Our country has become addicted to incarceration. This has become the fix all for everything. Our United States has the highest incarceration numbers in the world. As of 2011 we had 2.3 million men and women behind bars according to the International Center for Prison Studies. In comparison China has four times our population and is a distant second with 1.6 million people behind bars and we lecture them on human rights. Our next generation has some urgent decisions to make. Do we continue down this road of statues quo or do we get back to the basics of what our constitution represents?

The Brave men and women who went before us dedicated their lives that our nation remains free from tyranny and continue to be established as a government of the people, by the people and for the people; that the civil rights and civil liberties of its citizens be protected under our nation’s constitution. These decisions will establish the future legacy of our great nation. Do you want to part of the solution or do you want to just sit back and complain about the results of a failing system? Contact your congressman and demand a change. Help us restore democracy and civil rights for all Americans by reestablishing our a government of the people, by the people and for the people in that these rights continue to be protected in spite of race, color, gender or previous condition of penal servitude. Every human being deserves a second chance, a fair chance at living free from persecution and oppression. You may be just one voice but together we are strong; undivided and united we will be heard.
www.aarcr.org

The comments to this entry are closed.