Sparking howls from Democrats and the NAACP, Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner said last week that his office soon would begin Voter Purge 2.0, by sending supervisors of elections the names of voters who might not be citizens. Who could disagree with the idea that only eligible citizens should vote? But there is more to the issue. First, the purge is a solution in search of a problem. The number of noncitizens registered to vote is minuscule, mostly because there is no incentive for intentional fraud. What immigrant would risk deportation for the small reward of casting one vote?
In fact, “The Truth About Voter Fraud,” a 2007 report by Brennan Center for Justice at New York University Law School, stated: “We are not aware of any documented cases in which individual noncitizens have either intentionally registered to vote or voted while knowing that they were ineligible.”
Second, serious checks are already in place, thanks to an effective state database.
Before a person ever votes, the registration application is scanned and transmitted to the Department of State, where it is cross-checked by driver’s license or Social Security number. The registration is mailed to a street address (not a Post Office box) and is non-forwardable.
Finally, the solution is ineffective.