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State releases 'obsolete' list of possible noncitizen voters

It took weeks and weeks, but the state of Florida on Thursday finally released a list of 180,506 voters whose citizenship is in question, based on a cross-check of a database of Florida drivers. But state officials called the list "obsolete" and said they would not use it to "purge" anyone from the right to vote this fall -- leaving open the possibility that some noncitizens could cast ballots.

The list includes voters' names, dates of birth, and their nine-digit voter ID numbers. Information on voters' race, party affiliation home address was not included, and the state said that data was not part of the information the state used to create the list.

An initial review by the Times/Herald showed that people with Hispanic surnames have a strong presence on the list, including 4,969 people with the first name of Jose; 2,832 named Rodriguez; 1,958 named Perez and 1,915 named Hernandez. 

The now-discredited list was compiled last year by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles by cross-matching people identified as noncitizens with the state's voter registration database. The process began after Gov. Rick Scott had asked then-Secretary of State Kurt Browning if any noncitizens were registered to vote in Florida.

About 1,400 of the names on the latest list were also included in a list of 2,600 voters released in April, which triggered purge efforts by county election supervisors and several lawsuits. The state said it released the list only because news organizations and voter advocacy groups had demanded it under Florida public records law.

Scott's chief election spokesman, Chris Cate, issued this statement: "In no circumstances should the inclusion of names on this list be interpreted as a determination by the Florida Department of State regarding the eligibility of any registered voter. The process of identifying and removing non-citizens from the voter rolls has been on hold until information can be verified using the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's SAVE database, which we expect to be able to do very soon using names from a new matching process." 

-- Steve Bousquet

Comments

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Manuel Aragon

Voter fraud in Florida? How could anyone believe that our local culture that spawns every variety of Medicaid, Food Stamp, IRS refunds, insurance, Ponzi, public official corruption and other forms of fraud including a continuing history of absentee ballor fraud would ever permit itself to commit voter fraud. In Florida's effort to verify the legal status of potential voters it has properly requested USCIS to provide updated information about the legal status of those whose whose right to vote is still to be proven. Obama's Department of Homeland Security has refused to provide the needed information for the cleansing of the voter roles because Obama sees a tight race in Florida and is counting on its ability to manufacture as many votes as needed in order to win the election. This is real Chicago style politics where the election outcomes are forgone conclusions because they have learned to manipulate the system in order to come up with a win. Those who protest that voter id will disenfanchise lower income people are apparently blisfully unaware that the vast majority of those they fear will not be able to provide an ID and will be disenfrnchised are ones who likely receive food stamps, disability benefits, cash assistance and many other freebes that require this very same identification in order to receive those benefits. This article's self serving hypocrisy is disgusting to any fair minded person. Contemptible is the word that comes to mind.


whasup

You know ... we still haven't heard from our intrepid press corpse (sp. intentional) about why so many people on the shorter list the state actually sent to the elections supervisors couldn't be found by those supervisors.

Could it be that many of them left the state due to the economic down turn?

Could it be that many of them, who came here to work, left the country for their homelands?

Inquiring minds want to know ... but the press isn't interested in that part of the factual picture.

Why might that be?

Jeffrey L. Johnson, Major, Infantry, Retired

I found kit heartening that Florida officials decided not to use the list in the story. I am totally against Voter I.D. laws because it disenfranchises eligible voters who, for various reasons, cannot obtain the necessary documentation required for a voter eligible I.D. However, I do favor the scrubbing of voter registration lists against lawfully obtained, current data bases that begin a process of double-checking for eligibility. How we verify, on a timely basis, and work with the individual in question is the key to focusing on valid voter registration rolls. It will not break the state or county registrars budgets to have someone meet with the individual and begin the process of eligibility verification. But, no level of government should have the ability to remove someone from the voter registration roles without a confirmed verification. The burden of proof for in-eligibility should rest on the government and a relatively high bar should be established before removal of someone from the roles be permitted. We have got to get away from the idea that in all cases it is a citizens responsibility to provide proof of eligibility. I've been helping several veterans, here in Minnesota, obtain I.D. cards. I have the knowledge, time and financial resources that they lack. Customarily, it is taking me four to six months to get a simple birth or marriage certificate. In once case, I have been working with one veteran for nearly 18 months to get enough documentation to get him a Minnesota I.D. card. He's handicapped and cannot drive. My guess is that just like in Minnesota, there are hundreds of thousands of eligible voters in Florida in similar circumstances.

The politicians who have passed voter I.D. laws have known all along that there would be a high number of individuals who would have great difficulty in obtaining documentation for voter eligibility. These individuals commonly few into demographic groups with a high propensity to vote moderate Republicans or Democrat Party candidates. When they saw the numbers it didn't take too much imagination to see that by disqualifying them close elections could be tilted towards to more conservative candidate.

Voter I.D. laws, curtailing early ballot casting, limiting the hours when registrars and voting officials, provisional ballots, and limiting the voter registration process are not about election integrity. They are about "Voter Reliability". The whole idea is to cripple you opponent in any manner you can to reduce the number of voters they have coming to the polls.

The idea that we as a society are allowing this to happen does not speak well of us. We are destroying our own, cherished American Democracy. And, the cynicism that has motivated the people who are behind these measures is more than shameful, it's dangerous!

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