Seven months after Gov. Rick Scott announced a new purge of Florida’s voting rolls, county supervisors of elections are still waiting for the state to provide them with lists of suspected ineligible voters. The purge isn’t on hold, the state just isn’t in a hurry. “We do not have a set timeline to start the proposed process,” Florida Department of State spokeswoman Brittany Lesser said Friday. Meanwhile, midterm elections and Scott’s bid for a second term approach. It’s too late for such a purge to affect Southwest Florida’s special election to fill Trey Radel’s congressional seat. Radel resigned Jan. 27 after pleading guilty to cocaine possession and serving a stint in rehab. Ineligible voters would have to be removed by 90 days before a federal election, according to federal law.
The special congressional election primary is less than 40 days away, and voters must be registered by midnight March 24 to vote in the primary. The June 24 special election is only 100 days away.
The state Division of Elections just wants to get everything in order, said Sharon Harrington, Lee County supervisor of elections. “I think what they’re trying to do is make sure whatever information they do end up sending us will be as thorough as they can possibly find it,” she said. “I don’t think they were rushing into this at all.”
Secretary of State Ken Detzner set up a tour of the state called “Project Integrity” to get feedback from elections supervisors and the public on how to maintain integrity of voting lists and avoid a repeat of the state’s failed 2012 voter purge.