Voter Purge Update: Florida Sues Feds for Access to Database
Florida's Secretary of State is suing the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for refusing access to a federal database containing information about citizenship.
The State of Florida wants to use the federal database to verify the citizenship of Florida voters and purge non-citizens who may be registered illegally. But, the federal government has said the SAVE (Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements Program) database is not comprehensive and lists mostly green-card holders and naturalized citizens.
"We can't let the federal government delay our efforts to uphold the integrity of Florida elections any longer," Secretary Ken Detzner stated in a press release issued Monday just before 5 p.m.
News of the lawsuit broke earlier in the afternoon during Gov. Rick Scott's interview with Fox News where he defended purging the state voter rolls despite objections from the county supervisors of elections many of whom are Republicans.
There's also skepticism, according to a report last week in the Orlando Sentinel, that the Scott administration will use the database to suppress votes.
An article in Think Progressive stated:
On Thursday, a senior DHS official, who would speak only on background, said the agency was waiting for Florida and the U.S. Justice Department to settle their dispute on whether Florida’s purge violates federal voter-protection laws before allowing the state access the SAVE database. Only then would DHS consider access legally authorized, the official said.
The lawsuit comes after Scott disregarded the Department of Justice's request to stop purging the voter rolls. Civil rights groups filed a legal challenge on Friday to try and stop the voter purge.