Florida elections supervisors said Friday they will discontinue a state-directed effort to remove names from county voter rolls because they believe the state data is flawed and because the U.S. Department of Justice has said the process violates federal voting laws. Late Thursday, the Department of Justice sent Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner a letter telling him that an effort launched by Republican Gov. Rick Scott’s administration last year to remove the names of people believed to be non-citizens from voter rolls appears to violate at least two federal voting laws. The federal agency gave Detzner until Wednesday to respond. The Justice Department letter and mistakes that the 67 county elections supervisors have found in the state list make the scrub undoable, said Martin County Elections Supervisor Vicki Davis, president of the Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections. “There are just too many variables with this entire process at this time for supervisors to continue,” Davis said.
Ron Labasky, the association’s general counsel, sent a memo to the 67 supervisors Friday telling them to stop processing the list. “I recommend that Supervisors of Elections cease any further action until the issues raised by the Department of Justice are resolved between the parties or by a Court,” Labasky wrote. Davis said the effect on supervisors will be “if they’ve started the process and they do find out that someone is ineligible to vote and they have credible and reliable information to back it up, then they will remove that person from the database. But if they have not had contact with someone on the list, they’re stopping at that point.”
Detzner in April sent supervisors a list of more than 2,600 voters his Division of Elections had identified as potential non-citizens by matching the state’s voter registration database with driver license records. Palm Beach County Elections Supervisor Susan Bucher received 115 such names.