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Nelson takes to Senate floor to rip Scott

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012 by John Kennedy

Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, facing his own re-election fight this fall, took to the Senate floor this afternoon to rip Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott over his push to remove noncitizens from voter rolls — a move that has sparked the state and federal governments to trade lawsuits.

Nelson echoed the Democratic side in the fight, saying that Florida’s attempt to use flawed data would result in eligible voters being purged from the rolls.

In remarks he plans to deliver, Nelson recalls how his family has been in Florida 183 years and that he can’t believe his home state would make it harder for lawful citizens to vote.

“The governor and his administration should ensure the credibility of our voter rolls.  It should have a program to suppress fraud. But above all else, the state must ensure that every lawful citizen who has the right to vote can do so without impediment,” according to a draft of Nelson’s remarks.

For his part, Scott has made the round of network TV morning news shows defending the state’s effort. His office also said Tuesday that its own investigation has yielded 100 noncitizens on a list of 2,600 voters cited as potentially ineligible by the Florida Department of State, up from 86 people discovered last week.

Florida Republican Party Chairman Lenny Curry also swung back at Nelson, following his floor speech. Curry said the number of noncitizens found on Florida’s rolls is proof of a problem.

“So the question for Nelson and all opponents of verification efforts isn’t ‘is there evidence of fraud or illegal voting?’ because it is a matter of fact,” Curry said. “The question is, ‘how many illegal voters and votes are they willing to ignore?’”

UPDATE: Dems outraged over Scott secret withdrawal of redistricting amendments

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011 by Dara Kam

UPDATE: A spokesman for Gov. Rick Scott responded to his withdrawal of redistricting amendments for federal approval.

“Consistent with Governor Scott’s effort to assess the rules, regulations and contracts of the previous administration, he has withdrawn the letter requesting a DOJ review of Amendments 5 and 6. Census data has not been transmitted to the state yet and the Legislature will not undertake redistricting for months, so this withdrawal in no way impedes the process of redrawing Florida’s legislative and congressional districts,” Scott spokesman Brian Hughes said in an e-mail.

In his first few days on the job, Gov.Rick Scott quietly withdrew the state’s request for a federal go-ahead to move forward with two redistricting amendments overwhelmingly approved by voters in November.

Scott sent the request to the U.S. Department of Justice, which has to sign off on any changes to Florida elections laws affecting voters’ rights, on Jan. 7, just two days after he announced the reappointment of Department of State Secretary Kurt Browning. After Browning left Gov. Charlie Crist’s administration last year, he headed up a political committee that fought Amendments 5 and 6, aka the “Fair Districts” amendments. Crist’s temporary secretary of the state department submitted the application for “preclearance” to DOJ officials on Dec. 10

Scott’s move, offered with no explanation to the feds and no public announcement, left Democrats and supporters of the amendments hopping mad, and the state’s top Democrat is demanding Scott resubmit the preclearance application.

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