Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) called his determination to remove ineligible voters from Florida’s voting rolls “a no-brainer” on Tuesday, charging the administration with “stonewalling” the attempt. “We’re sitting here trying to watch how we spend our money, pay down our debt, do the right things for the citizens of our state, and the federal government tells us, ‘Oh, no, you can’t do the right thing for our citizens and we’re going to sue you,’ ” Scott said on Fox News. “It doesn’t make sense.” Scott announced on Monday that Florida is suing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in order to move forward, in response to the Department of Justice (DOJ) filing a suit against the state over actions taken for the purging attempt. “This is protecting the rights of U.S. citizens and not diluting their vote by non-U.S. citizens,” Scott said. “When non-U.S. citizens register and vote, it is illegal, it is a crime.” Florida began purging county voting rolls this year in order to eliminate ineligible voters ahead of what will likely be a hotly contested election, but stopped due to the administration’s protests.
The DOJ earlier this month warned that Florida’s move violated the Voting Rights Act of 1965, landmark legislation that sought to end racially discriminatory voting practices. According to the DOJ, Florida is depending on faulty records to determine ineligible voters. But Scott said DHS has refused to allow his state access to the national immigration database it needs to confirm citizenship status. Florida has been requesting access to the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) database for nine months, according to Scott. Florida is now suing the administration for access.