After winning access to a U.S. Department of Homeland Security database of non-citizens living in Florida, Gov. Rick Scott said he sees no reason why the state’s 67 elections supervisors shouldn’t return to removing ineligible voters from the rolls. But the supervisors, many of whom have resisted the purge, say they’re not ready to trust the new lists without reviewing them first – especially with less than four months remaining until the November election. “My worst nightmare is we get close to a presidential election, and someone challenges maybe 100,000 possible non-citizens at the polls on Election Day,” said Volusia County Supervisor of Elections Ann McFall. “If that happens, we won’t get our results for weeks.”
The state appeared to win a months-long struggle with the federal government Saturday over use of the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements, or SAVE, database. The state maintained that it had the right to use the list, while DHS said Florida hadn’t provided all the information needed for that. The state eventually sued the feds for access to the database, and Florida officials said in recent weeks they’ve supplied the information the feds wanted.
Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner quickly sent a letter Saturday to elections supervisors, suggesting that the SAVE material would allow the purge to resume. “You know, it’s very reliable data, so I can’t imagine they’re not going to go forward and make sure,” Scott told CNN Monday. “‘Cause I don’t know anybody – any supervisor of elections or anybody in our state – that thinks non-U.S. citizens ought to be voting in our races.”