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Rick Scott's elections office: We've "confirmed" 207 noncitizens on the rolls, removing them.

Gov. Rick Scott and the Advancement Project have agreed to settle part of a suit over his noncitizen voter purge, but that doesn't mean noncitizens won't be purged.

Scott's elections division reported today that it has "confirmed" 207 noncitizens on the voter rolls out of a pool of about 1,700 potential noncitizens whose names were checked in a federal immigration database called SAVE. Some of the registered voters had previously admitted they weren't citizens, but most were found due to the SAVE search, said elections division spokesman Chris Cate.

"The information about these voters will be provided to State Attorneys to investigate as well," Cate said. "It's a felony to provide false information on a voter registration application or to vote as a noncitizen."

Florida and the federal government battled over access to the SAVE database for months. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security finally gave Florida access to the database after the state filed a lawsuit and received a favorable court ruling in a separate case involving the U.S. Department of Justice, which tried to halt the purge.

Cate said the state was only able to use SAVE to check 1,700 names of people on a list of about 2,600 who were identified as potential noncitizens because the federal government requires the state to use a unique "alien" identifier to check the citizenship status of immigrants.

The original list of 2,600 names was determined by the state after checking its voter rolls with a motor vehicle database that contained some outdated citizenship information.

Earlier today, the Advancement Project noted it settled a major part of its suit with Scott's administration, which agreed to restore a few dozen people to the voting rolls who hadn't been proven to be noncitizens. Those voters were removed because they failed to respond to local elections offices and confirm their citizenship.

It's unclear how many of those voters to be restored to the rolls match the voters who were "confirmed" through the SAVE checks.

"We have no confirmed cases of people who were wrongly removed," Cate said.

The state is still fighting in court for the right to remove noncitizens 90 days before an election. Voting advocates say that violates a federal law.

"The citizens of Florida have taken another step toward realizing the right to vote, without any undue barriers imposed by the state,” Advancement Project Co-Director Penda D. Hair said in a written statement. “The lawsuit and settlement show that all citizens should have the same right to cast a ballot without confronting unfounded questions about their eligibility to vote.  We congratulate our partners: LatinoJustice PRLDEF, Project Vote, Fair Elections Legal Network, SEIU, the law firm of Jenner & Block and Gerald Hebert for their hard work in gaining this important victory for democracy.”

TALLAHASSEE –The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements Program (SAVE) database as well as personal admissions from illegally registered voters have confirmed 207 non-citizens have been on Florida’s voter rolls. The confirmed names will be provided to county supervisors of elections shortly after supervisors complete their federal training on how to use the SAVE database, which they are expected to do this week.

 

“The Voter Eligibility Initiative is already proving to be a successful process to identify illegally registered voters on Florida’s voter rolls,” said Secretary of State Ken Detzner. “We want every Florida voter to be confident that their vote is protected and not hurt in any way by the illegal activity of others. We know that every vote counts, especially here in Florida where only 537 votes decided the presidential election in 2000.”

 

Department of State employees recently completed their training on how to use the SAVE database. Since training has been completed, these employees have been checking the legal status of 2,625 potential non-citizens whose names were provided to supervisors of elections in April. Following the review of these potential non-citizens, the department will conduct a new matching process with the state’s driver’s license database to identify additional potential non-citizens whose current status needs to be confirmed by the SAVE database.

 

Under the department’s new Voter Eligibility Initiative using the SAVE database, no names of potential non-citizens will be sent to supervisors of elections without having first been reviewed by DOS, checked by the federal SAVE database and verified by SAVE as noncitizens. When a supervisor of elections receives information from DOS that a registered voter is a potential non-citizen, the supervisor must begin the statutory notice and removal process. Potential non-citizens will be provided an explanation of the basis for their potential ineligibility and an opportunity to request a hearing to dispute the determination of potential ineligibility.

 

In response to the department’s new process to identify non-citizens on the voter rolls earlier this summer, plaintiffs in the Arcia vs. Detzner case today dismissed three counts in their complaint that challenged the previous process. The only count remaining in the Arcia vs. Detzner case now focuses on the 90 day timeframe. In a separate lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), a federal judge upheld Florida’s right to remove non-citizens from the voter rolls whenever they are identified. The judge said that the state and federal government should work together because illegally registered non-citizens voting constitutes “irreparable harm” to Florida and its voters.

Comments

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CallMeBC

Florida election officials seem intent on preserving their status as being the worst and most incompetent in the country after having been challenged for that title by the likes of Arizona.

ers

It is amazing that the Scott administration continues to purge the rolls. With all the money they have spent they found .0002% of the over 11 million registered voters to be fraudlent, yet they bypass rules and gives a $20 million bad loan to a movie company..Maybe they ought to rethink their priorities

Liberty27

Governor Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi’s brand of justice has disenfranchised over 900,000 American men and women in the state of Florida. Florida has become home to approximately one fifth of our nation’s disenfranchised in the country.

Justice has taken on a broader and less defined meaning in our nation

Justice should serve an ethical purpose, not be purely the end to justify the means. Justice does not always prevail in the end. The phrase “the end justifies the means,” first originated from Niccolo Machiavelli's book "The Prince", and is interpreted to mean, “Doing anything whatsoever that is required to get the result you want, regardless of the methods used. It does not matter whether these methods are legal or illegal, fair or foul, kind or cruel, truth or lies, democratic or dictatorial, good or evil”. President Richard Nixon and Watergate is a good example of this. He thought that his actions would surely justify his means. The Senate Watergate Committee did not see it that way which led to Nixon’s indictment and later resignation as President. In this case justice did prevail in the end. Justice as defined in Wikipedia “is a concept of moral rightness based on ethical, rationality, law, natural law, religion or equity.” More recently justice has taken on a broader and less defined meaning in our nation. In the area of civil rights, justice has not always prevailed. The Civil War only began our struggles for equality and civil rights for all American citizens. This struggle continues to this day.

All individuals born or naturalized in the United States are citizens there of and are guaranteed certain civil rights and liberties. As citizens we have the privilege to vote in community, state and national elections which is our voice in government. We have the right to pursue life, liberty and happiness, with our families, free from oppression. We are free to pursue our livelihoods in our chosen professions. We are free to live in what ever state, city or community of our choosing. The only ways these rights may be forfeited are by, willfully surrendering these rights, treason or a felony conviction. When laws are broken a trial and punishment are required and are defined in the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution. Due process of the law is also guaranteed in this amendment. Due process is the legal requirement that the state must respect all of the legal rights that are owed to a person. It balances the power of the law of the land and protects individual persons from it. When a government harms a person without following the exact course of the law, this constitutes a due process violation which offends against the rule of law. In the performance of due process individuals are protected against cruel and unusual punishment in the Eight Amendment of our Constitution. A life long disenfranchisement of an individual’s civil rights after due process of the law has been completed would be considered by most as cruel and unusual. Our Constitution is the supreme law of the land. After due process of the law has been completed, the civil rights of these individuals should be restored to them. Whether our government and courts respect and defend the supreme law of the land, which they are duty-bound to do by oath, is another troubling issue.

States like Florida, Virginia and Kentucky continue to revoke civil rights and withhold them long after due process of the law has been completed. Many ex-felons never have their civil rights restored. About 5.5 million of them are currently disenfranchised in our country with very little hope of regaining their civil rights back. Florida is home to about one fifth of them. Their families suffer the same fate because of lack of opportunity. States are sovereign, this is true, but how can a state take away and withhold these civil rights that are protected in our United States Constitution? Are not these men and women first Americans before they are Floridians, Virginians or Kentuckians? The United States Constitution is the law of the land. It was put in place to protect our civil rights and civil liberties and not to disenfranchise millions. I believe that many states are usurping the authority of our federal government and the authority that is invested in them to protect these rights. Our federal government’s legislative and judicial branches are equally at fault for not upholding and protecting the civil rights of all its citizens after due process. When a law is broken we have a justice system in place that requires due process of the law be served. Due process has a definite meaning and is not left open for interpretation. After due process is served, performed and completed the civil rights of that individual should be restored. When they are not returned then due process has been vacated and this violates the rule of law. This is a major social issue that should concern all Americans. If state law makers can make void parts of our U. S. Constitution without restraint then what will be next? If this is justice we have just been handed a whole new meaning of the word.

In a democracy freedom and independence is equally shared by every individual. Every person has influence in part by his or her own abilities and has equal opportunity to rise by their own merit. When these freedoms and rights are taken away for an indefinite length of time or permanently after due process is complete, the moral obligation of justice has been abridged. Any political leader whose acts of authority continue to enslave or oppress another long after due process of the law has been completed can be described by no other definition than a Tyrant. A bully such as this is unfit to rule over a free society in which they were elected to serve. I reaffirm that justice should serve an ethical purpose and not be purely the end to justify the means. www.aarcr.com

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