Republican Florida Gov. Rick Scott on Tuesday declared that the debate about his state’s effort to purge thousands of voters “is over” because over 50 non-citizen voters were proof that that the process needed to go forward.
During an interview on CNN, host Christine Romans asked Scott why Florida was suing the Department of Homeland Security to get access to a database of eligible voters even after the federal government insisted that the voter purge be halted.
“Look, the debate is over,” Scott insisted. “We know we have almost 100 individuals that are registered to vote that are non-U.S. citizens. Over 50 of them have voted in our elections.”
“But on the other side of that, you have to be — the federal government says you cannot by any way infringe on a citizen’s right to vote by purging these noncitizens,” Romans pointed out. “So you’re going after these 48 right now cases. But are you really being sure that the state — because, look, the SAVE database, that DHS database of noncitizens, the government says they are happy to give your state access, but they say you’re not providing the necessary immigration related information required to use it properly for verification purposes.”
“If there’s credible evidence that somebody is registered to vote that is not, they are sent a letter,” Scott explained. “They’ve got 30 days to respond. If they don’t respond, then there’s the notice filed in the paper, if they don’t respond, then they’re taken off the roles.”
“Critics say this is discriminatory,” Romans noted. “And one big political move to eliminate potential Democratic voters.”
“Absolutely not,” Scott replied. “This is nonpartisan.”
Records obtained by the liberal website Think Progress showed that the “list compiled by the Scott administration is so riddled with errors that, in Miami-Dade County alone, hundreds of U.S. citizens are being told they are ineligible to vote.”
According to the records, 359 of the 1,638 alleged “non-citizen” voters on the Miami-Dade list were able to provide proof of citizenship. The county identified another 26 as U.S. citizens. Most of the remaining 1,200 people targeted by the purge in that area had not yet responded to the letter sent by the Supervisor of Elections.
Watch this video from CNN’s Starting Point, broadcast June 12, 2012.
(h/t: The Huffington Post)