Gov. Rick Scott’s plan to purge voter registration rolls of noncitizen voters may lead to a legal showdown in advance of the November presidential election.
Scott’s administration has undertaken an effort to verify the legitimacy of thousands of names currently on Florida’s voter registration rolls. The state says its search has turned up more than 180,000 registered voters who may not be citizens of the United States, according to The Tampa Tribune.
An earlier list of about 2,600 potential noncitizens was sent to Florida counties for verification earlier this year. Many of the names ended up belonging to legal citizens, the Tribune reports.
Even so, Scott’s administration wants to move forward with its efforts to locate and remove noncitizen voters from the rolls in advance of the November election. That move, Obama administration officials say, violates federal antidiscrimination and voting laws. The U.S. Department of Justice notified the state in a letter that its actions may violate federal laws.
What do you think about the voter purge? Should the state continue seeking to remove noncitizen voters from its rolls? Let us know in the comments section.
Scott’s administration fired back at the Justice Department with a letter accusing that agency of not understanding federal laws. The state also says the Department of Homeland Security is breaking the law by not allowing it access to the federal citizenship database.
The Tampa Bay Times is reporting that Florida officials are positioning themselves for what may become a legal battle over the issue.
Ken Detzner, Florida’s Secretary of State, says following the Obama administration’s demand would assist illegal voters in casting ballots.
"If the effect of the NVRA (National Voter Registration Act) is to force a state to allow never-eligible non-citizens the opportunity to vote," he wrote in a response to the Department of Justice, according to The Times, "then the statute might violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution, which guarantees that the right to vote cannot be denied by a dilution of the weight of a citizen's vote."
Do you agree?