A federal judge Friday cleared Broward Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes in a lawsuit that accused her office of facilitating voter fraud. U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom concluded that Snipes had a program in place “that makes a reasonable effort to remove the names of ineligible voters from the official lists of eligible voters by reason of death or change of address.”Bloom said the American Civil Rights Union, which filed suit against Snipes because of the potential for voter fraud, had not proven that the Broward elections office violated the National Voting Rights Act.
The ACRU and other conservative organizations have accused more than 140 elections offices nationwide of not doing a good enough job purging their rolls, with many having more registered voters than eligible voting-age residents. The groups want the elections offices to be more aggressive in removing ineligible voters, including non-citizens and people who move, die, become felons or become mentally incapacitated.
The effort has come under criticism from voter rights groups that fear an overly aggressive removal process could lead to voter suppression by snaring eligible voters, too. The Broward case could provide a precedent for otherchallenges.