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Florida officials try different tack to get access to federal database for voter purge

by Dara Kam | June 7th, 2012

State officials are trying another route to get access to the Department of Homeland Security database they believe will clear up controversy over a troubled non-citizen voter purge.

Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Executive Director Julie Jones today asked Department of Homeland Security officials to expand the agreement her agency has with them regarding the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements, or “SAVE,” database.

DHSMV already has permission to use the database to check the citizenship status of Floridians applying for driver licenses or government identification cards.

Last month, state highway officials and Secretary of State Ken Detzner announced that DHSMV would be using the SAVE database to do a more complete vetting of 182,000 potential non-citizens who applied for driver licenses or state IDs and are also registered to vote.

But shortly after that, lawyers at DHSMV decided an agreement they had with Homeland Security prevented that.

So Jones today asked for a change in the memorandum of agreement with the feds so she could keep her records more current. Jones made no mention of the controversial non-citizen purge process in her letter to John Roessler, chief of the SAVE program.

“Most Florida driver licenses and identification cards issued to lawful, permanent residents are valid for eight years with the only exception being residents aged eighty or older,” Jones wrote. “This department is interested in keeping our records as up-to-date as possible between regular renewal cycles. Therefore, we are interested in utilizing SAVE in order to update our records between renewal cycles and we believe a modification of the MOA is required.”

DHSMV and state elections officials have flagged more than 182,000 potential non-citizens who are also registered to vote by matching driver license records with the Florida Voter Registration System.

The non-citizen purge has created a national uproar, pitted Gov. Rick Scott’s administration against the Justice Department, set off a stand-off of sorts between state and local elections officials and exploded into a partisan finger-pointing match.

And today’s letter is the latest twist in Scott’s SAVE skirmish with Homeland Security.Yesterday, the governor’s administration accused DHS officials of breaking the law by ignoring requests to use the database for nine months. Detzner and Scott have repeatedly blamed the problematic purge process on President Obama’s administration. They contend that being able to vet the names of potential non-citizens through SAVE would give elections officials – who refuse to participate in the scrub until the issue is sorted out – more confidence in the purge list, which flagged a decorated World War II veteran and citizens who were naturalized after they applied for their driver license.

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10 Responses to “Florida officials try different tack to get access to federal database for voter purge”

  1. STOP THE PURGE Says:

    “DHSMV already has permission to use the database to check the citizenship status of Floridians applying for driver licenses or government identification cards.”

    THEN WHY THE HELL DIDN’T *THEY* CHECK THE CITIZENSHIP?!

    Florida Republicans are the most corrupt, inept bunch of political criminals I’ve ever seen.

    FIX THE DAMN LAW.

    CHECK CITIZENSHIP BEFORE YOU REGISTER ANYONE TO VOTE!

    THEN YOU WON’T HAVE THESE SKETCHY VOTER PURGES!

    HOW HARD CAN IT BE?!?!

    Unbe-frickin-leavable.

  2. STOP THE PURGE Says:

    Well, whatever.

    The big takeaway from this latest article is that Rick Scott was caught flat-footed doing something illegal and now they are changing course.

    That is good.

    The purges MUST NOT BEGIN AGAIN until the DOJ signs off on their legality.

    Period. End of story.

  3. Ms Vicky Says:

    This is proof that the GOP knows that Florida is going Democratic in November. They know they must pull every evil, unethical, illegal trick in the book in order to win. They will even take the chance of purging a few Republican voters along the way because Democratic voters far outnumber them. But they ARE going to lose in November, and NOTHING they do will stop it; in fact, the GOP will lose more support than ever due to these kinds of anti-American ploys.Many decent Republicans and Independents don’t like this kind of deception. Scott is unethical enough but not smart enough to win this game. He is losing ALL of his attempts at destroying Florida’s middle class. Firefighters, teachers, police, nurses and everyday workers built this country. It will take a hell of a lot more than Rick Scott to take us down!

  4. whasup Says:

    What this really demonstrates is how lackadaisical many state bureaucrats and their bosses are … and how unhelpful the bureaucracies lawyers are.

    But none of that should be used as an excuse to allow illegals to vote, as has been happening.

    Unfortunately, many Democrats–like the previous commenters here–don’t mind illegals voting. That suggests they believe they will need illegal votes to win!

  5. Ms Vicky Says:

    @whasup: There is absolutely NO evidence that illegals have been voting in this state, although our governor has done nothing to prevent illegals from getting every other kind of benefit here; in fact, if he had done so, he would not have needed the police, firefighters, teachers and nurses to make up for our sorry economy. Apparently, he is only concerned with purging a special group of voters, and they are NOT illegals. You are very naive. Many Floridians are also concerned with fairness in voting issues and will make certain that ALL our citizens retain the rights our brave soldiers fight and die for in foreign countries.

  6. Stinky McFinkerstein Says:

    No evidence, eh? Coulda swore I read somewhere that at least four non-citizens have already ADMITTED having voted…some more than once.

    And as for you, “Stop the Purge,” they DID check the citizenship, genius. That’s where the 182,000 came from…

    So far, only 2,700 are under review, with at least 1,500 in doubt.

  7. the truth hurts Says:

    All these claims of voter fraud. Yet Scott and his Gang have not published any names of voters who were convicted or under indictment for voter fraud to state his case.
    It is due time for Scott to put up, or shut up!!!

  8. STOP THE PURGE Says:

    Stinky McFinkerstein, if they already checked the citizenship status then why do they need to check it again?

    I’ll tell you why. Because they don’t really care about that. They are using the pretense of voter registration to gain access to the federal list of ALL illegal aliens.

    This request is the central aspect of why their requests to DHS and DOJ were denied. This request is included in the email chain of emails that they released to the media.

    No, they didn’t want to just check 2000 names of non-citizens on the voter rolls… They are using “voter fraud” as a pretext to gain information that would support their own backwards anti-immigration policy.

    But as to the 180,000 number, even Republican Kurt Browning walked away from that number and called it inaccurate. He said it was not a list that he could “hang his hat on.”

    Couple that with the fact that the county SOEs did their purge already in 2011 and Rick Scott is personally driving the voter purge during an election year, SOMETHING IS OBVIOUSLY FISHY IN TALLY.

    Multiple Republican county SOEs have come out and pointed the finger at Rick Scott for not only the poor accuracy of their list but because of the TIMING of the purge. REPUBLICAN SOEs are calling the timing of the purge POLITICAL and PARTISAN.

    Sadly, dead-ender Republicans would rather make a major issue out of a handful of illegal voters than allow actual citizens to vote.

    Where is the passion FOR the American citizens’ right to vote?

    All your passion is dedicated to PREVENTING people from voting.

    Why the repressive anti-voting and anti-registration measures followed immediately by a partisan and illegal purge?

    Rick Scott’s administration has raised more questions about its conduct than anything else in this whole fiasco.

  9. Ms Vicky Says:

    Hey Stinky (You chose the appropriate name tag), I’ve long wondered about how this governor “eeked” into office with the slimmest of margins possible. Or could it be that his past accomplishments, namely running a company involved with the nation’s BIGGEST defraud of medicare, enticed YOU to vote for him. Birds of a feather….
    IT WON’T HAPPEN AGAIN IN FLORIDA!

  10. people Says:

    Obama told the assembled economists, jerseys business executives and union leaders that the leading question of the day is, “how do we get businesses to start hiring again?”

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