Janell Ross reports that Scott ordered election officials to continue the purge, even in the face of evidence that a disproportionate amount of names on the list are voters of color. In an initial list of 3000 voters the state suspects are non-citizens, blacks and Latinos were disproportionately represented. Analysis by the Miami Herald found nearly 60 percent of the people on the list to be Latino despite the fact that Latinos constitute just 13 percent of the state’s electorate.
However election officials are not comfortable moving forward with the purge and have been instructed to stop by attorneys representing the Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections. But doing so places them in direct conflict with Scott and Secretary of State Ken Detzner. The plan for now is for those counties that have already started to purge rolls to continue checking for ineligible voters but to only purge those names that have present identifiable and verifiable information that they should not be on the list of registered voters.
The Scott administration has until Wednesday to formally respond to the DOJ demand it cease the purge.
Scott is among a hand full of Southern Republican governors actively challenging the Obama administration on all things civil rights. Florida joins Texas and Arizona as states spoiling for a fight over voting rights and minority representation. The push to tighten voter restrictions coincides with aggressive gerrymandering efforts and amount to a wide scale, two-fold disenfranchisement. The result is that minority voters are left with literally fewer votes and representation.
It is no coincidence that these efforts also coincide with the fact that minorities have now become the majority in this country. They represent a sad and desperate attempt to grab and hold power in the face of a dramatically changing world. That also means that the fight over voting rights, and civil rights in general, will only become more intense and more important if we’re to stamp out the neo-Confederates currently leading the Republican party.
Photo from gageskidmore via flickr.