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Necessary Hygiene
The 1993 National Voter Registration Act requires Florida’s action.

Governor Rick Scott (R., Fla.)

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Deroy Murdock

Governor Wallace was the face of the original Jim Crow,” says MoveOn.org’s Garlin Gilchrist II. “Now, Governor Scott is the face of Jim Crow 2.0.”

Liberals once again are foaming at their mouths over mainly conservative initiatives to prevent vote fraud. The trigger for the Left’s latest rabid attack is Governor Rick Scott’s efforts to verify the accuracy of Florida’s voter rolls.

Responding to Scott’s program and similar ones in other states, Attorney General Eric Holder asked the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday, “Do we want to be the first generation to restrict the ability of American citizens to vote? We have a bad history in that regard . . . ” A Tampa Bay Times editorial accused Scott of “standing between Floridians and their right to vote as U.S. citizens.” MoveOn called Scott’s project a “racist voter purge.” 

So where did Scott decide to scrutinize Florida’s rolls for ineligible voters? At a KKK rally? At a white-power retreat deep inside the Everglades with neo-Nazi David Duke?

Not quite.

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In fact, what Scott is doing is required by federal law.

The 1993 National Voter Registration Act (a.k.a. Motor Voter) holds that “A State shall . . . systematically remove the names of ineligible voters from the official lists of eligible voters.” (42 U.S. Code § 1973gg-6(c)(2)(A)). This is for purposes of “ensur[ing] that accurate and current voter registration rolls are maintained.” (42 USC § 1973gg(h)(4)).

Further, the 2002 Help America Vote Act – adopted after 2000’s Bush v. Gore recount fiasco in . . . where was that? Oh, yes . . . Florida — commands that “the appropriate State or local election official shall perform list maintenance with respect to the computerized list on a regular basis . . . For purposes of removing names of ineligible voters from the official list of eligible voters.” (Sec. 303 42 USC § 15483(a)(2)(A)).

Like an overgrown lawn, Florida’s voter rolls screamed for attention. When Sunshine State officials compared voter lists with the Social Security Death Index, they discovered 51,308 registered voters who happened to be dead. (The Scott administration should perform a national service by checking those names against voter records to determine how many people kept voting after they stopped breathing.) Given this now-corrected luxuriance in Florida’s voter rolls, identifying other ineligibles, including non-citizens, is prudent, lawful, and indeed mandated by federal law.

Last September, Florida asked the Department of Homeland Security for access to its Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) national citizenship database. DHS has stonewalled Florida’s request, and those from Colorado,  Michigan, and North Carolina. As Florida’s Secretary of State Ken Detzner wrote the U.S. Justice Department on June 6, “a chain of emails dating back nine months . . . demonstrates DHS’s refusals and delays in this regard.”

Florida then compared its voter rolls against its driver’s-license applications, which contain citizenship information. It discovered 182,000 potential non-citizens who were registered voters. SAVE could help Florida determine which of these drivers subsequently had become naturalized, but DHS will not share this record with Florida, despite an August 26, 2011 DHS document whose twelfth page states that it may be used for “any legal purpose such as background investigations and voter registration.”



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