By Easton L
Florida vowed to press-on with “Voter Purge” blatantly defying a Federal Warning to put breaks on the purging operations that disproportionately targets registered voters of color a clear violation of Section V of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
As reported by HUFF POST, the initial list of nearly 3,000 voters the state suspects are non-citizens, blacks and Latinos were disproportionately represented, a coalition of advocacy groups said in a statement Thursday. A Miami Herald analysis
found nearly 60 percent of the people on the list to be Latino. Hispanic voters constitute just 13 percent of the state’s electorate, according to federal data.
The National Voter Registration Act requires states to make every effort to monitor and maintain clean and accurate voter rolls, Browne Dianis said. But the same law also says efforts must take place 90 days or more before a federal election begins. Florida voters are set to vote in a primary Aug. 14 that includes candidates seeking congressional seats — meaning the state has missed the three-month deadline.
Despite a Justice Department letter, objections from county elections officials and evidence that a disproportionate number are voters of color, Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner’s office planned to continue scrubbing the election rolls, a spokesman said Friday. Gov. Rick Scott (R) ordered the search for potentially ineligible voters.
“We have an obligation to make sure the voter rolls are accurate and we are going to continue forward and do everything that we can legally do to make sure than ineligible voters cannot vote,” said Chris Cate, a spokesman for Detzner. “We are firmly committed to doing the right thing and preventing ineligible voters from being able to cast a ballot. We are not going to give up our efforts to make sure the voter rolls are accurate.”
Justice Department officials declined to comment on Florida’s plans.
In a letter issued late Thursday, T. Christian Herren Jr., who leads the Justice Department voting section, told Detzner that the state’s plan to review the status of the 2,600 suspected non-citizens and purge them if the voters fail to prove citizenship appears to violate the 1964 Voting Rights Act and the National Voter Registration Act.
Miami-Dade County say they will not purge other voters from the rolls because of the large number of citizens included on the state’s suspect voter list. Nearly 450 voters who received warning letters provided proof of citizenship and another 35 have made plans to do so. About 1,000 voters have not responded, White said.
“The law says that the supervisor, only on a preponderance of evidence, should be removing people form the rolls,” said White. “We just didn’t feel that we didn’t have the preponderance of evidence that the supervisor needs to make a call on someone’s eligibility at this time that we haven’t heard from.”
Election officials in other counties around the state -– both Democrats and Republicans — have questioned the state’s suspect voter list and have expressed indignation about the purge.