Talking Points Memo reports that on Thursday evening the Department of Justice sent a letter to Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner demanding the state cease purging its voter rolls because the process being used at the direction of Gov. Rick Scott (R) appears to violate federal law.
Florida election officials did not pre-clear the purge as required under the Voting Rights Act, which appears to be the first violation of federal law. In addition to failing to pre-clear the purge under the Voting Rights Act, DOJ said the move also violated the National Voter Registration Act which requires that voter roll maintenance cease 90 days prior to an election. Florida’s primary is in August 14th, which means to be in compliance with the NVRA the purge must have ended May 16th.
The demand from DOJ is the latest challenge to the purge. Earlier in the week six members of Congress wrote Gov. Scott demanding he stop the process since it was improperly flagging many people who were eligible to vote.
The demand also came on the heels of a federal court decision that struck down Florida’s ban on outside groups like the League of Women Voters conducting voter registration drives. With that victory in place, perhaps the LWV can re-register the eligible citizens purged from the polls in Gov. Scott’s drive to once again put Florida under scrutiny for electoral corruption and fraud in a hotly contested presidential election.
Regardless, both the demand letter by DOJ and the federal court ruling come at crucial times and should be seen as good news in the fight against rights stripping by Republicans.
Photo from crownjewel82 via flickr.