Political Animal

Blog

May 26, 2012 12:49 PM Gov. Scott Orders Purging of Florida’s Voter Rolls - Just in Time For Prez Election

By Adele Stan

You remember, Florida, right? Land of the hanging chad? A state in which a margin of several hundred votes could determine the outcome of a presidential election — that is, of course, if the U.S. Supreme Court allows the votes to be counted.

ThinkProgress’ Judd Legum today has a disturbing report from the Sunshine State:

According to the Broward County Supervisor of Elections, eligible voters will be removed from the voting rolls as a result of the massive voter purge ordered by Governor Rick Scott. “It will happen,” Mary Cooney, a spokeswoman for the Broward County Supervisor of Elections, told ThinkProgress.
[…]
That process produced a massive list of 182,000 names, which [then Secretary of State Kurt] Browning considered unreliable. The Fair Elections Legal Network, which is challenging the purge, noted that database matching is “notoriously unreliable” and “data entry errors, similar-sounding names, and changing information can all produce false matches.” Further, some voters may have naturalized since their driver’s license information was collected.

Legum’s report features a letter sent to one registered voter, Maureen Russo, by the Broward County elections supervisor, alleging that she is not a U.S. citizen. The burden of proof, Legum writes, is on the letter’s recipient. From ThinkProgress:

In Broward County 259 people recieved letters just like the one addressed to Maureen above, according to the Broward County Supervisor of Elections. So far only 7 (including Maureen) have responded to the ominous and legalistic letter. Five of the responses included proof of citizenship.
If the other 252 people don’t respond within 30 of recieving the letter — a deadline that is rapidly approaching — they will be summarily removed from the voting roles.

In state after state, right-wing Republicans are seeking to pare the voter rolls by any means necessary. In high-turnout elections, Republicans tend to fare less well, especially when turnout includes sizable percentages of racial and ethnic minority groups.

Just last month, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down those portions of Arizona’s draconian voter law that would have required proof of citizenship to be produced during the voter registration process, which would have all but ended the sort of voter registration drives undertaken at the grassroots level (often in shopping mall parking lots, urban streets, sporting events and the like). I mean, who walks around with her birth certificate in her pocketbook? (Regrettably, the court upheld the portion of the law that requires voters to produce a state-issued photo ID at the polls.)

So when you hear activists fuming about right-wing efforts, such as those by the American Legislative Exchange Council, to suppress voter turnout, know that they’re not exaggerating. And, if current polls hold up, the 2012 presidential race promises to be a close one. You can call that fact the Hokey Pokey, because that’s what it’s all about.

Comments

  • c u n d gulag on May 26, 2012 2:08 PM:

    Well, of course they're purging the voter rolls.

    They'd really rather be purging the actual people. After all, they ARE good little Fascists (Godwin forgive me again!).

    I wrote yesterday (at length - what else is new?) how a Mitt win with both houses of Congress probably will lead to Republicans trying to establish their own 1,000 Year Reich.

    And one of the first places they'll start, is limiting who can and can't vote.

    Who'll be encouraged to vote?
    Non-urban white males - preferably over 35-40.
    Who work.
    Who own a car.
    Who own a home.
    Who have a white wife.
    Who have white children.
    And the white wife will be allowed to vote only through a proxy - her husband, who will fill out the ballot for the little lady.

    Who won't be allowed to vote?
    The usual suspects.
    In other words - anyone who's not all/most of the above.

    If R's win in November, I think we really are heading for a dystopian Dominionist Fascist future.

  • schtick on May 26, 2012 2:08 PM:

    That's what they did in 2000 and many people didn't know they were removed from the rolls until they went to vote. This stuff shouldn't be allowed just a few months before an election, especially one for President.
    And the people that don't believe that the tealiban are a bunch of liars and crooks, I almost feel sorry for them for being so naive. The tealiban has been working towards this own all, dominate all for the past 30 years.

  • Kathryn on May 26, 2012 2:10 PM:

    Is there no way to challenge this witch hunt? Do state governors have more power than the President of the United States? Look at Michegan, where cities and towns are being stripped of their elected officials amd turned over to managers appointed by Snyder. Is Florida covered by the Covil Rights rules that prevent states in the south from disenfranchising voters and subjects them to Jistoce Department scrutiny? In short, what " in the you know what" is going on that allows that alien Scott to unilaterally decide who is or is not a citizen? I guess I overestimated our so called freedoms righties are always talking about.

  • Ron Byers on May 26, 2012 3:22 PM:

    What are we doing about this crap? Is the Democratic party actively trying to protect its base or are we just whining.

  • bluestatedon on May 26, 2012 3:38 PM:

    All of this was eminently predictable well over a year ago, and there wasn't the slightest indication that Obama or his administration had any intention of acting proactively. The attention being paid by the DOJ to this blatant attempt to rig election results is far too little and way too late. If Florida goes to Romney by 50,000 votes, Obama and his alleged "brain trust" will have themselves partially to blame through their passive inaction.

  • Mitt's Magic Underwear on May 26, 2012 5:25 PM:

    Nothing to see here! Go back to talking about Hilary Rosen! Gays and pandering!

    Ever since 2000, we've known we don't have a real democracy. The Republicans don't even bother to fake it any more. And Obama's team has let them.

  • liam foote on May 26, 2012 6:33 PM:

    As a retired political asylum officer with the Justice Department, I recall cases decided based primarily upon data entered in a USG dBase, drawn from I-94 arrival/departure cards filled out longhand on the plane by arriving aliens.

    The problem was human error, as data from the I-94 were transcribed to dBases by USG minimum wage clerical workers whose dedication was often, shall we say, suspect. It is the same problem with the E-verify system and other USG dBases ... human error. It appears that Gov. Scott and others feel that potential Dem voters should be the ones to suffer for such mistakes.

  • John St John on May 26, 2012 6:43 PM:

    The Republicans are running scared and will do and say anything to try and stay in power in the U.S. Perhaps it is time to start demanding that the right wing religio-fascists provide papers showing that they are eligible to even be U.S. Citizens.

  • rbe1 on May 26, 2012 7:11 PM:

    Am I supposed to be surprised by this ? Florida is at the vanguard of our 21st century banana republic.