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Published On: Mon, Jul 16th, 2012

Rick Scott granted use of Federal database to purge illegals from voter rolls

In a victory for Florida Governor Rick Scott and Republicans, the federal government has agreed to let Florida use a law enforcement database to help purge noncitizens the state government suspects it may have on its voter rolls. 

Rick Scott florida governor cartoon caricature

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The agreement, made in a letter to Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s administration that was obtained by The Associated Press, grants the state access to a list of resident noncitizens maintained by the Homeland Security Department. The Obama administration had denied Florida’s request for months but relented after a judge ruled in the state’s favor in a related voter-purge matter.

One writer calls the decision “illegal” and the Tampa Bay Times headline labels the act “voter suppression.”

“The governor’s rhetoric about illegal voting and noncitizens is stirring up his support among conservative, predominately white groups for a purge of voters who are disproportionately minority and poor. Florida deserves better leadership than that,” The Times writer states.

Democrats say that the government’s concession is less troubling than some GOP-controlled states’ push to require voters to show photo identification.

But Republicans count it as a victory nonetheless in their broad-based fight over voter eligibility, an issue that could play a big role in the White House race. That’s especially true in pivotal states such as Florida, Colorado, Nevada and North Carolina.

After a judge recently ruled against federal efforts to stop Florida’s aggressive voter-list review, Homeland Security agreed to work on details for how the state can access the federal SAVE database — Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements — to challenge registered voters suspected of being noncitizens.

Florida has agreed that it can challenge voters only if the state provides a “unique identifier,” such as an “alien number,” for each person in question. Alien numbers generally are assigned to foreigners living in the country legally, often with visas or other permits such as green cards.

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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