Noncitizens aren’t allowed to vote in federal and state elections, but efforts to remove them from the nation’s voter registration rolls have produced more angst than results. Opponents say the scope of the problem has been overblown; those behind the efforts say they’ve just begun to look at the problem. Last year, Florida officials said they found 180,000 possible noncitizens on the voter registration rolls. Officials in Colorado said the number in their state was about 11,000. But it turns out many of these people were citizens. Now, after some names were checked against a federal immigration database, the number of suspected noncitizens is closer to a few hundred. Even those numbers are under review.
“We’re still in the very early stages of identifying noncitizens,” said Chris Cate, a spokesman for the Florida secretary of state’s office. “We’ve already identified 209, and we know firsthand from the 2000 election, how important even one vote can be in an election.” Cate says the list will go to county election supervisors whose job it is to remove noncitizens from the rolls. He says that could still happen by November. But Vicki Davis, president of the Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections, says she thinks it’s too late.
“At this point in time, I don’t see any voters coming off of our voter registration database prior to the Nov. 6 general election because the process typically takes 60 days,” says Davis, who is supervisor of elections in Martin County, Fla. That’s to ensure that no citizens are accidentally removed. This tension between cleaning up the voter rolls and making sure legitimate voters aren’t hurt in the process is playing out across the country, often in court. Many conservative groups say registration lists are filled with noncitizens, undermining the integrity of elections. Liberal advocacy groups say that the move to purge the rolls is just a cover to suppress the votes of Latinos and others, who tend to vote Democratic. Neither side shows signs of giving in.
Full Article: Voter Purges Under Review Ahead Of Election Day : NPR.