Florida Gov. Scott Says Voter Purge is Legal, DOJ Wrong
MIAMI – Gov. Rick Scott’s election’s chief on Wednesday defiantly refused a federal demand to stop purging non-citizens from Florida’s voter rolls, intensifying an election-year confrontation with President Barack Obama’s administration as each side accuses the other of breaking federal law.
In a sharply worded letter, Scott’s administration claimed the Department of Justice doesn’t understand two federal voting laws at the heart of the dispute and was protecting potentially illegal voters more than legal ones.
In tone and substance, the letter all but dares the Justice Department to sue Florida for allegedly violating the 1965 Voting Rights Act and the 1993 National Voter Registration Act (NVRA), nicknamed “motor voter.”
Last week, after the Justice Department letter came out, county election supervisors suspended the purge. Several said a list of nearly 2,700 potential noncitizen voters — overwhelmingly minorities — was unreliable and included hundreds of actual citizens who are lawful voters.
The state’s latest action promises to escalate the debate over hunting down suspected illegal voters in the nation’s largest battleground state. Liberal groups, which requested DOJ involvement, condemned the Scott administration; conservatives praised it, slamming DOJ for its interference.
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