Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner has been on a public relations mission to defend his plan to use federal Homeland Security data to search for noncitizens on the voting rolls. The key to the revamped process is using a federal resource of data, called the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements, or SAVE. Detzner defended the use of SAVE for voter registration purposes during a Nov. 4 hearing before the Senate committee on ethics and elections. He said using SAVE to check voter registration is one of its primary uses.
“In fact, Homeland Security’s ‘benefit categories’ lists checking voter registration citizenship status as one of its main functions. The federal government allows SAVE to be used and check legal status as part of an ensuring the eligibility of registered voters.”
Detzner said SAVE is used nationwide to verify citizenship for entitlement programs (such as Medicaid), so he argued that the state should be confident that it will provide credible information for elections officials.