Florida Governor’s Voter Roll Purge Appears Politically Targeted

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  • Dale Eisman

Scott must cease efforts around baseless fears of voter fraud

Florida’s drive to purge suspected non-citizens from its voter rolls is little more than a witch hunt, apparently targeted at voter groups that Gov. Rick Scott judges hostile to his administration and his political allies, Common Cause said today.

“It seems Gov. Scott is intent on maintaining and enhancing Florida’s reputation as the state with America’s worst-run elections,” said Common Cause President Bob Edgar. “His attempt to purge thousands of Floridians from the voter rolls is based on baseless fears of voter fraud; he should reconsider and abandon it.”

Florida state officials acknowledge that the driver’s license records that they’re using to identify suspected non-citizen voters are incomplete and often out-of-date. But about 2,600 people who turned up in a review of those records are now being threatened with the loss of their voting rights unless they can produce proof of citizenship.

“Florida already has erected unneeded barriers to registration, driving groups like the League of Women Voters to abandon efforts to sign up new voters,” Edgar said. “Those barriers, like the current purge, work in practice to cut into the number of minority voters, particularly Hispanics. Gov. Scott’s insistence that his effort is unrelated to his party’s declining popularity among those voters has a hollow ring.”