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Voting Rights Crisis Unfolding In Florida

Voting Rights Crisis Unfolding In Florida

There’s a civil rights crisis unfolding in Florida thanks to a massive voter purge ordered by Republican Governor Rick Scott.

Late last year Scott ordered the Secretary of State Kurt Browning to “identify and remove non-U.S. citizens from the voter rolls.” But Florida has no reliable citizenship data so Scott told election officials to identify non-U.S. citizens by comparing data from the state motor vehicle administration with the voting file.

Using Scott’s methods, Browning came up with a list of 182,000 names.

The process has sparked nothing but controversy. Browning complained the process was unreliable and eventually resigned. ThinkProgress reports that Seminole County Supervisor of Elections Mike Ertel (R) posted a picture on Twitter of a voter on the list falsely identified as ineligible, with his passport.

Florida Congressman Ted Deutch (D) has called the process a “blatant attempt to suppress voter turnout” and will demand Scott immediately suspend the purge.

That request joins others from civil rights groups who believe the purge violates federal laws that prohibit the state from removing voters from the rolls less than 90 days before a federal election. Florida’s primary will be help August 14th.

Updating voter rolls is a necessary process that does not need to be politicized any further than Scott already has. Given the long history of minority voter suppression and the state’s aggressive changes to its election laws, there’s plenty of reason to be suspicious of Scott’s motives here. The Department of Justice needs to take these actions seriously and intervene for the sake of the tens of thousands of Floridians who are about to have their most essential civil right stripped for cheap partisan gain.

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Photo from alan cleaver via flickr.

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9:51PM PDT on Aug 8, 2012

Very interesting reading!! Thank You for some of the "in depth" info that isn't normaly put out there for the voters to see. It dose help a voter to sift through all the "upfront crap" politicains try to sell the public. Thanks Again

6:31AM PDT on Jun 11, 2012

What Scott is doing in Flordia is wrong, The people of Flordia need to band together ,that is the only way they can get things done. The Koch brothers are putting a lot of money in and so many of the republican voters believe, what they say even without knowing they are being lied to. Some never look at the news. . A person has to dig and find out the truth, look at all the news.Look at the people that are getting hurt by these things. Big business, the rich get richer and the poor and middle class are going down the hill. I remember last year when Rommy said" I don't care about the poor or middle class." Yes I do write down some of the things that are said. The one thing I see is ,so much money millions and more being put into all of these lies, intsead of using it to pay down our countrys debt also feed the hungry people in this country, but no that would be helping the country lets just disendeanchise the peoples votes.

9:08PM PDT on Jun 5, 2012

Or, to make it more effective, ban them from sending any Senators or Representatives to Congress.

10:48AM PDT on Jun 5, 2012

Perhaps the Feds should consider banning Florida from participating in Federal elections since they have already violated Federal laws by continuing to purge voter lists past the 90 day deadline.

3:22PM PDT on Jun 1, 2012

Sadly, and I was a Republican from 1952 until 1999, there is no honest Republican politician (okay, maybe a tiny number) and no well informed Republican voter. Those are two things that just don't exist.

8:41AM PDT on May 29, 2012

Howard, thanks for that. Yet how do we get people to even change their thinking a little bit, listen to reason, listen to the truth, and become more aware? As an example, here in the oppressive state of Arizona, I work with someone who is horrified at the very idea that minimum wage would be abolished. I tell her that it is her pet candidate who is behind that barbaric notion, he is on film saying he would like to abolish the minimum wage, yet she is still voting for him. WTF??? What does it take?

7:47AM PDT on May 29, 2012


yes, I can. SSDD in FL people. Fight the power!

6:45AM PDT on May 29, 2012


10:10PM PDT on May 28, 2012

Mary, it isn't new. The rich and powerful have always had a disproportionate say in public policy. William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer, the de facto owners of the national media in the late 19th century agitated so for war with Spain that, shortly after it was declared, Hearst queried his readers with a front page headline "How do like our war?"

Engine Charlie Wilson, former CEO of GM, was asked at his conformation hearing to be Eisenhower's Defense Secretary if he could make a decision as secretary adverse to the interests of GM. He said he couldn't conceive of such a situation ""because for years I thought what was good for the country was good for General Motors and vice versa."

Now we have the Koch brothers laboring to steal the government through right wing dupes. It's a unending battle. The good news is there's a lot more of us then them. The bad news is we need to get a lot more of us to be a lot more involved for it to make the difference.

In April of 1974, after Watergate was front page news for a year and a half, Gallup polled about 2000 adult Americans; 92% could name the current president. At the height of individual activism and suspicion of government, one out of twelve Americans didn't know Richard Nixon was president. That says it all.

Read, talk, listen, get involved. It isn’t someone else’s problem. All that’s necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing.

6:10PM PDT on May 28, 2012

8:03AM PDT on May 28, 2012

"Of course, from Florida, the state who gave us president unelect Bush. These things are always instigated by republicans"

Hey! Don't blame Florida; blame the Supreme Court. -- a Florida resident

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That is despicable, deplorable, disgusting, abhorrent and evil. Anyone responsible for that treatment…

nothing like having a big brown dog with big brown eyes. very cute.

I'm not sure, but after reading this there are still areas I am not sure where our rights are!

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