Florida Governor: Elections officials thought I was dead

By Stephen C. Webster
Thursday, June 14, 2012 16:31 EDT
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Rick Scott speaks to CNN
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In a radio interview Thursday, Florida Governor Rick Scott (R) claimed election officials in the state once believed that he was dead, forcing him to cast provisional ballots in two elections.

He mentioned the unusual encounter as a means of defending his ongoing voter purge, which he says is necessary in order to prevent a campaign of voter fraud from compromising elections.

Both provisional ballots were ultimately counted, he claimed, and elections officials eventually figured out that it was another Rick Scott with the same birthday who had died in 2006, leading to the error.

There is no evidence of a campaign of voter fraud, and the Department of Justice has sued Gov. Scott to stop the purge, which has so far targeted mainly minority communities, according to local reports.

Gov. Scott has countered the federal lawsuit by filing one of his own, accusing the government of refusing to help him purge voters from the rolls by denying him access to a Department of Homeland Security database.

He claimed earlier this week that debate over his controversial move “is over” because they found “over 50″ individuals on the voter rolls who were not citizens.

In the Miami area, however, officials flagged more than 1,600 entries as “non-citizens” after letters demanding proof of eligibility went without reply, but at least 359 people later followed-up with proof of citizenship.

Some voting officials in the state say the methods being employed, otherwise known as “voter caging,” present too many variables to be considered a legitimate way to comb ineligible entries off voter rolls.

Federal law prohibits voter purges within 30 days of an election, and Florida’s Republican and Democratic primaries are set to take place next week.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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