Secretary of State Ken Detzner said Monday the coming purge of noncitizens from Florida voter-registration rolls will be “case-management work,” double-checked by at least two Division of Elections workers before verification with a federal database. Detzner told reporters at the Capitol he has no starting date for the statewide search for ineligible voters — which has drawn harsh criticism from Florida Democrats, who call it a thinly disguised attempt at “suppressing” minority voters. An attempt at purging the rolls last year, directed by Gov. Rick Scott, fizzled amid the same partisan accusations. This time, Detzner said, the state will work with a federal Department of Homeland Security database known as “SAVE” that was not made available to the state last year. SAVE stands for “Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements,” and Detzner said county elections supervisors are working with his department on details for security clearances so their staff can tap into the system. “I don’t really have a time schedule. This is case-management work, so you manage one case at a time,” Detzner said.
He said his office is working on a “memorandum of agreement” with county elections officers, for access to SAVE, and that the counties and state elections officials will begin matching voter rolls “on a very small-batch basis,” comparing state driver-license records and other data to the federal information.
“Those names that come back that have alien identification numbers are those cases that will be managed, one case at a time, with Homeland Security,” he said. “It won’t be a data-exchange process, it will be a case-management process, where each file is reviewed by two staff people at the Department of State and individuals at the Department of Homeland Security as well.”