Obama/Holder Dept. of Injustice Loses Attempt to Stop Florida's Purge of Illegal Voters
07/15/2012 07:19:11 AM CDT
07/15/2012 10:46:33 AM CDT
a victory for Republicans, the federal government has agreed to let
Florida use a law enforcement database to challenge people's right to
vote if they are suspected of not being U.S. citizens.
agreement, made in a letter to Florida Gov. Rick Scott's administration
that was obtained by The Associated Press, grants the state access to a
list of resident noncitizens maintained by the Homeland Security
Department. The Obama administration had denied Florida's request for
months but relented after a judge ruled in the state's favor in a
related voter-purge matter.
other words, notwithstanding the title to this AP story, this wasn't an
"okay" by the Obama administration at all - it was court ordered! Now
we still have the Department of Injustice's actions in Texas and South
Carolina to prevent those states from enforcing their photo ID laws,
despite the Supreme Court's approval, in a 6-3 decision, of the same
type of law in the State of Indiana in 2008. The majority opinion in
that case was written by the senior liberal on the court at the time,
Justice John Paul Stevens!]
Voting rights groups, while
acknowledging that noncitizens have no right to vote, have expressed
alarm about using such data for a purpose not originally intended:
purging voter lists of ineligible people. They also say voter purges
less than four months before a presidential election might leave
insufficient time to correct mistakes stemming from faulty data or other
Democrats say that the government's concession is
less troubling than some GOP-controlled states' push to require voters
to show photo identification.[What possible valid
objection could there be to requiring photo ID when the states that have
such laws provide for free state-issued ID's for those without drivers
licenses? We know for a fact that ACORN was indicted in 11 or more
jurisdictions during the 2008 election cycle for registering the names
of dead people as well as fictitious names. Without photo ID anyone
could show up at the polls and vote, multiple times, in those names.]
But Republicans count it as a
victory nonetheless in their broad-based fight over voter eligibility,
an issue that could play a big role in the White House race. That's
especially true in pivotal states such as Florida, Colorado, Nevada and
Republican officials in several states say they are trying to combat voter fraud.Democrats, however, note that proven cases of voter fraud
are rare. They accuse Republicans of cynical efforts to suppress voting
by people in lower socio-economic groups who tend to vote Democratic.
The Homeland Security decision may affect places beyond Florida,
because Colorado and other states have asked for similar access to the
After a judge recently ruled against federal
efforts to stop Florida's aggressive voter-list review, Homeland
Security agreed to work on details for how the state can access the
federal SAVE database—Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements—to
challenge registered voters suspected of being noncitizens.
has agreed that it can challenge voters only if the state provides a
"unique identifier," such as an "alien number," for each person in
question. Alien numbers generally are assigned to foreigners living in
the country legally, often with visas or other permits such as green
Unless they become naturalized citizens, however, they cannot vote.
agreement will prevent Florida from using only a name and birthdate to
seek federal data about a suspected noncitizen on voter rolls.
SAVE list is unlikely to catch illegal immigrants in any state who
might have managed to register to vote because such people typically
would not have an alien number. [Herein lies a
major problem - illegal alien can and do register and vote in
significant numbers, despite Democrat claims to the contrary. A statute
strengthening the penalty for illegally voting, e.g. deporting and
forever barring anyone caught illegally voting from citizenship would
act as a deterrent.]
Scott, whose administration
had sued Homeland Security for access to the SAVE list, said the
agreement "marks a significant victory for Florida and for the integrity
of our election system."
"Access to the SAVE database will
ensure that noncitizens do not vote in future Florida elections," Scott
said in a statement Saturday.
In a letter Monday, the
department told Florida it was ready to work out details for providing
access to the SAVE list. The letter was signed by Alejandro Mayorkas,
director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
follows a flurry of legal actions between Florida and the federal
government. On June 11, the Justice Department said it would sue Scott's
administration on grounds that the state's voter-purge efforts violated
voting rights laws. [In actuality Florida's purge
of its voter registration lists was in compliance with the National
Voter Registration Act of 1003 (aka the "Motor Voter" law). Section 8
of the law requires states to review their voter registration lists and
purge the names of dead and ineligible voters, a well-know support group
for Democratic candidates, usually registered by community agitator
groups such as ACORN and its progeny.]
The same day, Scott announced a lawsuit
against Homeland Security seeking access to the SAVE list. He said it
could be a valuable tool in determining who is a citizen. Two weeks
later, a U.S. judge blocked the federal attempts to stop Florida's voter
review efforts; the Mayorkas letter soon followed.
A Homeland Security spokesman said Saturday the agency had no further comment.
officials told the Orlando Sentinel last month they had concerns about
using the SAVE list for voter-review purposes. They said the list's
information is incomplete and does not provide comprehensive data on all
eligible voters, the newspaper reported.
administration hopes to restart a suspended voter registration purge
that was hampered this year by faulty data and bad publicity. The
review, using driver's license information, initially produced 180,000
voters' names considered worthy of checking. County election supervisors
examined 2,625 people on the list. But more than 500 were soon found to
be citizens, and the review was halted.
State records show
that 86 noncitizens were removed from the voter rolls since April 11,
and more than half of them had voted in previous elections.
Secretary of State Ken Detzner asked election officials Saturday to
restart the review. He said it will "include a carefully calibrated
matching process" between the state's driver and voter data "before any
records are verified through SAVE."
. . . .
state governments have sought access to the federal database for years.
Federal officials told Washington state in 2005 they saw no way to
compare voters and the Homeland Security information.
has sought the federal data for a year. Colorado, which has a
Democratic governor but a Republican secretary of state, Scott Gessler,
has identified about 5,000 registered voters that it wants to check
against the federal information.
Officials in the politically
competitive states of Ohio, Michigan, New Mexico and Iowa—all led by GOP
governors—are backing his efforts.
registered voters have acknowledged being ineligible, but an
"unenforceable honor system does not build confidence in our elections.
Although Republican activists have repeatedly said fraud is
so widespread that it has corrupted the political process and, possibly,
cost the party election victories, about 120 people have been charged
and 86 convicted as of last year. "[When
fully 3% of the
registered voters called for jury duty in one federal court district in
Florida turned out to be non-citizens, it would appear that the problem
is much more widespread than Democrats, or the Associated Press, are
willing to admit! Certainly elections have been won and lost with a
much smaller margin than 3%.]
In 2007, five years after
the George W. Bush administration launched a crackdown on voter fraud,
the Justice Department found virtually no evidence of organized efforts
to influence federal elections with ineligible voters.[Note that it says "virtually
no evidence," which does not mean no evidence at all, and it says
"organized efforts," which does not mean that non-citizens are not
voting on their own!]
Associated Press writers Gary Fineout in Tallahassee, Fla., and Mike Baker in Olympia, Wash., contributed to this report.
This story has been edited for brevity - read the entire story here: http://www.twincities.com/allheadlines/ci_21080744/mass-docto...
News & Politics