Laws designed to clamp down on voter fraud have been causing controversy all over the country. But in Florida, an attempt sparked by Gov. Rick Scott (R) to remove non-citizens from the voter rolls has become particularly heated, devolving into dueling lawsuits, with officials refusing to carry out directives from the secretary of state. The Department of Justice is suing the state over the purge. Florida is suing the Department of Homeland Security. What happened? As the Miami Herald reported, Scott became interested in the number of non-citizen voters early in his tenure. The state wanted to use the Department of Homeland Security‘s Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) database, but federal officials denied access. Instead, the state elections board relied on the information from the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to determine citizenship. Then-Secretary of State Kurt Browning abandoned the effort, saying the data was too flawed. (For example, some people gain citizenship after getting a driver’s license. Some names on the list were simply there by mistake.)
So the issue was dropped until this February, when a local news station reported on non-citizens who regularly vote. The station gave a list of nearly 100 names to election officials in Collier and Lee counties. The state picked up its own investigation again. Browning had been replaced as secretary of state by Ken Detzner, who in May sent a list of 2,700 possible non-citizens to county election supervisors for verification — culled from an initial list of 182,000. County officials were supposed to contact everyone on the list, giving them 30 days to prove their citizenship or be purged. As Browning feared, a backlash quickly followed. There were errors. Democrats and immigrant advocates argued that the purge targeted minority voters.
Full Article: Florida’s voter purge explained – The Washington Post.