The integrity of America’s elections is paramount to our democracy. As Florida prepares to undertake another purge of voter rolls, though, last year’s botched attempt at cleansing registration records of noncitizens cannot be duplicated. Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner just finished a tour of the state to try to ensure the public that officials would perform better this time — and not send county elections supervisors flawed lists of eligible voters and minorities. Detzner’s just ended “Project Integrity” tour hinged on the admission of fault in 2012 and the promise of more solid data this time. But there’s reason to suspect another debacle.
Last year, the Division of Elections initially identified 182,000 possible cases of noncitizen voter registrations via state drivers license data. But then that list was chopped to 2,600 before ending up at 198 as elections supervisors decried the process and the timing so close to balloting.
The data provided to county elections supervisors was riddled with errors and inaccuracies. Some voters were improperly removed because they were not citizens when they obtained a driver’s license but had later taken the oath of citizenship. Those supervisors finally rebelled and refused to pursue a purge.