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While Florida postpones use of SAVE to check voters, the website remains in use by agencies nationwide

A footnote on our story last week about Secretary of State Ken Detzner’s announcement that he will delay his “Project Integrity” -- or more commonly known as the noncitizen purge.

Detzner had planned a second round of searching for noncitizens on the voter rolls using the Department of Homeland Security’s SAVE data. But in February, DHS started to revamp the SAVE website -- a process that won’t be done before the 2014 election. On Thursday Detzner announced that he would delay the next round due to the website changes.

Only a handful of states have agreements to use SAVE for voter registration purposes -- and at least a couple of those states haven’t started using it yet for that purpose. Virginia just recently signed an agreement with DHS and has no timeline yet while Iowa is awaiting the outcome of a lawsuit filed by the ACLU.

SAVE is more typically used for reasons that have nothing to do with voter registration such as to determine if someone is eligible for social services.

While Detzner decided to delay using SAVE while the website changes are underway, agencies nationwide can continue to access the data -- and are doing so.

Florida Department of Children and Families spokeswoman Michelle Glady told us that “DCF continues to use SAVE to determine eligibility.”

When DHS sent notices to SAVE users in February about the website changes it stated: “Please note that the SAVE System web address and the verification process will not change in [sic] with this release.”

Here’s the most recent notice from DHS to SAVE users about the website changes:

03/26/2014

Dear Customer,

The SAVE Program launched Phase I of the SAVE System redesign on February 23, 2014. This release featured an updated layout, along with several new home page functions, including a vertical navigation bar, a new welcome banner, and a “Quick Links” menu. We hope that our redesigned system offers you a more dynamic, user-friendly experience, and makes it easier for you to determine the eligibility of your benefit applicants.

We are still offering training sessions for Superusers and Supervisors to become familiar you with the new design, and offer you the opportunity to ask questions. Please contact your SAVE agency manager regarding upcoming training opportunities.

Our goal with this release was to improve verification services for our customers. We would love to hear your thoughts on the first phase of the redesign, and incorporate your valuable feedback as we prepare for Phase II. Please send your comments to the email address below with the subject “SAVE Redesign.”

 

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