Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner is bringing his mea-culpa roadshow to South Florida today, part of a five-city effort to convince county elections supervisors that in combing the voter rolls for people who shouldn’t be there, this time his office will get it right. Detzner has a lot to prove in reviving the state’s voter-roll purge. Last year his Division of Elections claimed to have identified 182,000 noncitizens who’d registered to vote. But after a steady stream of targeted Americans came forward to prove their citizenship, the number dramatically dropped to 198, at which point county elections supervisors threw up their hands and suspended the effort.
This time, Detzner appears to have created a more deliberative process. Rather than rely solely on driver’s license records, which include an “alien registration number” for people who are not citizens, he says he now has “credible and reliable” information from a U.S. Department of Homeland Security database that collects information from several federal agencies, including U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
This time, before sending a list of possible suspects to county elections supervisors, he promises his office will better review the names for those who have no business voting.
Still, in making the final determination, he wants county supervisors to review the same federal database — a step that raises rightful concerns among supervisors.