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Will other states delay use of SAVE for voter checks?

Florida is one of a handful of states that signed agreements with the Department of Homeland Security to use SAVE to search for non-citizens on voter rolls.

Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner announced Thursday that he was delaying his plan to start a new round of looking for non-citizen voters due to DHS revamping the SAVE website. DHS started changes to the website in February but may not finish the project until after the 2014 election however SAVE remains operational by agencies nationwide.

So we wondered if any other agencies that use SAVE for voter registration purposes have also halted efforts as a result of the website changes.

This week, the Virginia Secretary of the State Board of Elections signed an agreement to access SAVE but won’t start using it until staff receive training and the state sets rules for using the system.

“We have reached out to DHS to get a full understanding of the changes they are making to the system to determine how those changes may impact Virginia’s use of SAVE...” Edgardo Cortés, Deputy Secretary Virginia State Board of Elections told Naked Politics in an email. “No timeline has been set yet for starting to use the SAVE system.  No decisions regarding when we start utilizing the system will be made until we get the information from DHS about the planned changes to the website.

In 2005, Maricopa County, Ariz., was the first agency to enter into an agreement with the SAVE Program for voter registration, and a few other counties in Arizona were added later. By 2013, Florida, Colorado, Iowa and North Carolina had reached similar agreements -- and now Virginia has been added to the list in 2014. States with pending applications to use SAVE for voter lists include Georgia, Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi, Oregon and Tennessee, DHS told PolitiFact in November.

As PolitiFact found, voter registration is not one of the main purposes of SAVE -- most of the uses of SAVE pertain to benefits or licenses. In fiscal year 2013 in Florida, there were about one million SAVE queries by Florida agencies, and the majority were for driver’s licenses and health and social services.