An association of Florida elections supervisors has recommended that members hold off on purging voter rolls until the state settles its dispute with the Justice Department over whether the action is legal. Based “upon the previous issues that have been presented concerning the list, as well as the fact that the Department has indicated its intent to take further actions to review its list to determine its validity,” Ron Labasky of Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections wrote in a memo that his recommendation was that Supervisors of Elections “cease any further action until the issues were raised by the Department of Justice are resolved between the parties or by a Court.” DOJ asked Florida to say by Wednesday whether they would cease trying to purge their voter list. Justice Department officials contended that federal law doesn’t allow voters to be removed from the polls within 90 days of an election and that changes to the process Florida uses to remove voters must be cleared under the Voting Rights Act.
Vicki Davis, Martin County Elections Supervisor and president of the Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections, told TPM that her group “wanted them to completely vet the issue before we remove anyone’s name from our voter database.” Florida elections officials only sent two names of suspected non-citizens in Davis County, where registered Republicans nearly double registered Democrats. Both of the suspected noncitizens were born in Canada — one of them provided proof of citizenship via passport, but officials haven’t been able to reach the other. Davis said she suspects she didn’t received a long list of suspected non-citizens because her county is relatively small and doesn’t have an enormous Hispanic population.
Former Secretary of State Kurt Browning, who resigned in January, told the Associated Press that he delayed instructing elections officials to use their list of suspected noncitizen voters because he was not confident enough to “hang his hat” on the list. Browning did not respond to TPM’s request for comment.