Gov. Rick Scott promised that he would once again hunt for non-citizens on state voter rolls, and on Wednesday afternoon, his top elections officials released public details about taking the first steps toward another pruning effort. Secretary of State Ken Detzner announced in a statement that he would begin a roundtable discussion with the state’s 67 supervisor of elections in a series of five public meetings across the state in October. (Sorry Tampa Bay and Miami-Dade, the closest meetings are in Sarasota and Ft. Lauderdale.) Called “Project Integrity”, the meetings will be an opportunity for Detzner to hear from supervisors about how to conduct another purge. “I am embarking on the Project Integrity roundtable tour to collaborate with Supervisors to protect the integrity of our voter rolls,” Detzner said in the statement. He’s creating a new list of suspected noncitizen voters by cross-checking state voter data with a federal database managed by the Department of Homeland Security.
Detzner’s director of elections, Maria Matthews, sent a letter to election supervisors on Aug. 2, promising “responsible measures that ensure due process and the integrity of Florida’s voter rolls” and vowing to include supervisors “in the planning and decision-making.”
Similar searches a year ago were rife with errors, found few ineligible voters and led to lawsuits by advocacy groups that said it disproportionately targeted Hispanics, Haitians and other minority groups.
The state’s list of suspected non-U.S. citizens shrank from 182,000 to 2,600 to 198 before election supervisors suspended their searches as the presidential election drew near.