Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) said he will sue the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to move forward with his controversial attempt to purge the voter rolls in his state of ineligible voters. “I have a job to do to defend the right of legitimate voters,” Scott told Fox News on Monday. “We’ve been asking for the Department of Homeland Security’s database, SAVE, for months, and they haven’t given it to us. So this afternoon, we will be filing a lawsuit, the secretary of State of Florida, against the Department of Homeland Security to give us that database. We want to have fair, honest elections in our state and we have been put in a position that we have to sue the federal government to get this information.” Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner produced the lawsuit, filed in Washington, D.C. district court on Monday, shortly after, along with a statement. “For nearly a year, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has failed to meet its legal obligation to provide us the information necessary to identify and remove ineligible voters from Florida’s voter rolls,” Detzner said. “We can’t let the federal government delay our efforts to uphold the integrity of Florida elections any longer. We’ve filed a lawsuit to ensure the law is carried out and we are able to meet our obligation to keep the voter rolls accurate and current.”
Last week, the Department of Justice demanded Florida stop the voter-roll purge, saying it violated the federal Voting Rights Act (VRA) and the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) and was reliant on faulty Department of Motor Vehicle records to determine who is eligible to vote. The Scott administration responded with a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder saying it would continue the voter-roll purge, and is now seeking the DHS federal database as a part of that push. Shortly after Scott’s announcement, the DOJ responded with a letter to Detzner saying it was launching a suit of its own against the state.