Quantcast
Connect with us

Florida suspends heavily-criticized voter purge efforts until 2015

Published

on

By Bill Cotterell

TALLAHASSEE, Florida (Reuters) – Florida Governor Rick Scott’s administration is abandoning its renewed effort to remove non-U.S. citizens from the voter rolls, the state’s top elections official announced on Thursday.

Secretary of State Ken Detzner, in a memo to county election supervisors, said the latest attempt at a purge, which two years ago set off a number of legal challenges from voting rights groups, would be postponed until next year.

ADVERTISEMENT

He said the state planned to wait until a new federal database, which helps track potential ineligible voters, is up and running.

The decision comes after Scott, a Republican, faced heavy criticism over Florida’s attempts to identify people who are not American citizens on voter lists months ahead of the 2012 presidential elections.

Running for re-election this year, Scott has repeatedly said the aim of his efforts is to protect the integrity of the voter rolls.

However, advocacy groups have called the review of non-citizens a thinly veiled attempt to disqualify Hispanic and African-American voters who tend to vote for Democractic candidates.

The state’s effort in 2012 sparked several lawsuits, including one by the U.S. Justice Department, which claimed the purge violated federal law since it was conducted less than 90 days before the election.

ADVERTISEMENT

Florida officials at the time said they had drawn up an initial list of 182,000 potential non-citizens. But that number was reduced to fewer than 200 after election officials acknowledged errors on the original list.

Ion Sancho, a veteran Leon County elections supervisor, said he welcomed the state’s decision.

“The number of ineligible individuals on Florida databases is statistically insignificant,” he said. “The last thing supervisors need is another partisan-driven event to complicate our lives. The entire process has been driven by partisan politics, rather than voter integrity.”

ADVERTISEMENT

In identifying potential non-citizens two years ago, Florida officials sent their information to county election supervisors who then mailed letters to voters requesting proof of citizenship.

If no response was received, the voter was dropped from the rolls.

ADVERTISEMENT

The effort was the subject of lawsuits from five voter protection groups, including the League of Women Voters of Florida.

Deirdre Macnab, the group’s president, praised the state’s decision to put off the purge, which Scott’s administration calls “Project Integrity.”

“Independently elected supervisors of election are already standing sentry on making sure that only eligible citizens are voting,” she said.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Programs like ‘Project Integrity’ have proven, time and time again, to disproportionately impact minority voters and erroneously disenfranchise those that are eligible.”

(Editing by Kevin Gray and Gunna Dickson)

[Image via CNN]

ADVERTISEMENT

Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Facebook

GOP lawmaker mocked after whining Adam Schiff wouldn’t let her break impeachment hearing rules

Published

on

During the public hearings in the House impeachment inquiry into President Trump this Friday, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY) attempted to direct a line of questions to former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, but was interrupted by Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, who informed Devin Nunes (R-CA) that "under the house resolute 660, you are not allowed to yield time except to minority counsel."

As Stefanik continued to try to speak, Schiff repeatedly cut her off. "The gentlewoman will suspend," Schiff said as he swung the gavel. "You're not recognized."

"This is the fifth time you've interrupted members of Congress -- duly elected members of Congress," Stefanik protested.

Continue Reading

Facebook

France to host Putin, Zelensky in bid to end Ukraine conflict

Published

on

Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet his Ukranian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky in Paris on December 9 for their first face-to-face encounter, seeking to end the half-decade conflict in Ukraine, the French presidency said Friday.

The leaders will join French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel for the four-way summit aimed at resolving the conflict in the east of Ukraine, where pro-Moscow separatists have declared breakaway regions, the Elysee Palace said.

Macron, who has been spearheading a drive for peace in Ukraine, had hoped to host the summit in September but it was held up by numerous obstacles that highlighted the difficulty of resolving the conflict.

Continue Reading
 

Facebook

Feds now probing Giuliani’s links to Ukrainian natural gas projects – and if he profited from them

Published

on

Federal investigators are now probing the ties of the President's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, into Ukrainian energy projects, and if he stood to gain financially in a business venture headed by his two "henchmen" who are now in jail.

The two associates infamously aided Giuliani's efforts in Ukraine to launch investigations into Joe Biden and Hunter Biden in an attempt to assist President Donald Trump's re-election efforts, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Continue Reading
 
 
Help Raw Story Uncover Injustice. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1 and go ad-free.
close-image