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Charlie Crist bashes Gov. Rick Scott's 'shameless' voter purge, registration crackdown

In another sign former Gov. Charlie Crist is moving to the Democratic Party, he penned an op-ed in the Washington Post bashing Gov. Rick Scott's noncitizen voter purge. The seeds of the purge, incidentally, began under former Secretary of State Kurt Browning, first appointed by Crist, who's now a trial lawyer and therefore earns his living in a profession targeted by Scott. Crist might challenge Scott in 2014.

Crist, in mentioning a voter-registration crackdown law Scott signed, notes a federal judge rejected it. But the former governor fails to mention that the noncitizen voter purge has fared better in court before the same judge.

Some excerpts:

I’m concerned that zealots overreacting to contrived threats of voter fraud by significantly narrowing the voting pool are doing so with brazen disrespect and disregard for our greatest traditions.

As a result of insidious political maneuvers and a lack of respect for voters, we in Florida have been entangled in litigation. The courts and the Justice Department have been required to step in this summer to protect the integrity of the voting process against a sweeping voter purge that the Florida Department of State undertook under the guise of removing non-U.S. citizens from the voter rolls. Among those caught up in this shameless purging and notified that he was not a U.S. citizen eligible to vote: a 91-year-old World War II veteran, Bill Internicola, who fought in the Battle of the Bulge and has proudly exercised his right to vote for many years.

This is just the most recent example of a mean-spirited and all-too-partisan attempt to restrict access to the rolls and to the polls. A federal court also recently struck down provisions of a law Florida’s legislature passed in 2011, which put heavy burdens on organizations seeking to help voters: burdens that the court described as “harsh and impractical,” serving no purpose other than to make it harder for Americans to participate in the electoral process....

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