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Judge denies request to stop voter purge

TALLAHASSEE —U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle on Wednesday denied a request by the U.S. Department of Justice to stop Florida from removing non-U.S. citizens from the voter rolls.

The Justice Department asked for a restraining order, claiming the removal of noncitizens violates a federal law prohibiting the systemic removal of noncitizens less than 90 days before a federal election.

But Hinkle said his reading of that law does not prevent the state from taking noncitiznes off the rolls.

Attorneys for secretary of state Ken Detzner told the judge that the federal government’s request was meaningless because the purgin has stopped.

Steve Bousquet, Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau