Florida’s attempt to purge ineligible voters from its rolls has been halted, at least for now. “We felt the information wasn’t credible and reliable,” said Vicki Davis, president of the Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections. “Too many voters on the state’s list turned out to actually be citizens.” That decision dealt a major setback to state leaders, including Gov. Rick Scott, who have pledged to identify ineligible voters before state primary elections in August. The United States Department of Justice has ordered Florida to stop the purge, saying states cannot remove voters from their rolls within 90 days of an election.
Also, on Friday, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against Florida over the purge. The group is representing two immigrants who are citizens, but were told they needed to prove their citizenship in order to vote. State officials acknowledge flaws in their list. Using driver’s license data, they identified 180,000 voters who may not be citizens. They narrowed that list and sent almost 2,700 names to county election supervisors asking them to investigate. The counties are legally required to give the voters 90 days to prove their citizenship before removing them from their rolls. Voting without being a citizen is a third-degree felony.