World War II Veteran Purged from Florida Voter Rolls
An Army World War II Veteran, who was awarded the Bronze Star as a medic in the Battle of the Bulge and honored by France with its Chevalier Legion of Honour, received another distinction from the State of Florida this year.
Ninety-one year old Bill Internicola said he was amazed and a little insulted when he read a letter that said he'd been disqualified as a voter.
The Stars and Stripes reports he recently received the letter purging him from the voter rolls that stated:
“The Broward County Supervisor of Elections Office has received information from the state of Florida that you are not a United States citizen; however you are registered to vote.’’
Florida is a vital swing state in this year’s presidential election. The WWII Veteran participated in a news conference Tuesday that was arranged to demonstrate flaws in the state’s effort to purge voter rolls prior to the election.
“I never had any trouble. I voted here for the last 15 years,” Internicola told freelance reporter Patricia Sagastume. “ To me, it’s like an insult.”
Congressman Ted Deutch, a Democrat, was one of two members of congress to attend the news conference. He is critical of Florida Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican, for how the voter rolls are being verified.
“(Internicola) That’s evidence that this process has to stop because there is no accountability,” Deutch said during the news conference. “There’s no transparency. And to think that someone like Bill Internicola and others like him around the state may loose their right to vote is a tragedy.”
Without knowing the details of Internicola’s case, a spokesman with the Florida Department of State said some voters may be inconvenienced by the process of excluding non-citizens … but no one will lose their legal right to vote.
More than 1,600 registrants were listed as non-citizens on the Miami-Dade rolls. So far Sagastume reports, about 20 percent have proven they are citizens. So far, more than one fifth of those people have proven they are citizens.
The Boston Herald reports the Internicola’s wife, Dolores, was indignant herself.
“Tell them only in Florida could this happen,’’ she called out to her longtime husband at a news conference Tuesday.
The letter received by the lifelong Democrat was sent to 2,600 voters throughout the state to keep non-citizens from participating in elections. Another 52,000 people were identified as possibly dead yet still listed as active voters. The state wants them purged from the rolls as well.