Gov. Rick Scott of Florida, newly empowered by the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in June that struck down the heart of the Voting Rights Act, has ordered state officials to resume a fiercely contested effort to remove noncitizens from voting rolls. The program, which was put in place before the 2012 election, became mired in lawsuits and relentless criticism from opponents who viewed it as harassment and worse — a partisan attack by a Republican governor on Hispanic and Democratic voters. In a federal lawsuit filed last year in Tampa, an immigrants’ voting-rights group charged that the attempt to scrub the voter rolls disproportionately affected minority voters and that the state had failed to get Justice Department clearance as required under the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
Early this year, in a move to tamp down the uproar over missteps on Election Day, the Republican-controlled Legislature passed a bill undoing some of the measures it approved in 2011 that led to fewer early-voting days, problems with absentee ballots and long lines at the polls.
But Mr. Scott, in pushing to resume the voting-roll review, contends that the state has an obligation to protect the integrity of the vote. “The Supreme Court has allowed our secretary of state to start working with our supervisor of elections to make sure our sacred right to vote is not diluted,” he said Tuesday, after a cabinet meeting.
Full Article: Ruling Revives Florida Review of Voting Rolls – NYTimes.com.