Bad Data From Rick Scott Leads 2 Florida Counties To Suspend Voter Purge

Bad Data From Rick Scott Leads 2 Florida Counties To Suspend Voter Purge

In a statement that reads like a desperate attempt at damage control. Lenny Curry (Chairman of the Republican Party Florida) compared purging the polls to enforcing laws against drunk driving.

This past Memorial Day weekend, law enforcement put up checkpoints to ensure drunk drivers did not threaten the safety of fellow motorists. Undoubtedly, many of the drivers who were met by police were, in fact, not driving drunk. However, we accept the notion that on such a heavily traveled holiday, a few moments of inconvenience to law-abiding drivers is worth it if we can ensure safe highways.”

Similarly, officials in Florida are undertaking a methodical and reasonable effort to maintain the security of Florida’s voter rolls. While some who are citizens, and others who are not deceased, may be asked to simply participate in the verification process, thousands of these records do accurately reflect non-citizens and people who have died.

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To borrow from Keith Olbermann; you, Mr. Curry, are an idiot.  Officials are using old DMV records, circa 2000.  As was the case in 2004 and for that matter in 2000, using old records will result in numerous errors. It comes with no surprise that Hispanics, Democrats and Independents have a higher probability of appearing on these lists than say, white Republicans.

And as Rolling Stone points out, this sort of thing is happening in other states as well.

“Florida Republicans are following the lead of GOP secretaries of state in places like Colorado and New Mexico, who’ve made outlandish and unsubstantiated claims about non-citizens voting based on sketchy data, bad methodology, and anti-immigrant sentiment.”

Thankfully, two County Supervisors, so far, recognize the problem.  According to the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting (FCIR), Palm Beach and Hillsborough Counties have suspended the voter purge in those counties because the information they received from Rick Scott’s officials was unreliable.

Hillsborough County received a list of 72 “non-citizens” in April. After receiving the notification that they were not citizens, five people came forward with birth certificates and a sixth person came forward with their passport, proving they are in fact American citizens.

Craig Lattimer, the chief of staff for Hillsborough County Supervisor told cltampa 

So at that point it was obvious it wasn’t very credible and reliable information, so we suspended any further action.

In an interview with Think Progress,  Susan Bucher, the County Supervisor for Palm Beach County said:

We need to make sure we have reliable and credible information, by a preponderance of evidence. We could prove that the information was not credible before sending letters and even the Division of Elections has admitted substantial flaws. I did not feel we had credible information and told them I wouldn’t send [any letters] until they could give me a better list.

Think Progress also reports this sort of thing is happening across the state and offers some very damning data to prove it.

According to Rolling Stone, The state intends to continue the purge, notwithstanding irrefutable proof that the information on which they are compiling their “non-citizens” list is seriously flawed.

The state has already pledged that “several thousand” more alleged non-citizens will be targeted from the purge list. “The state told us we’re going to get names routinely,” says Carolina Lopez, special project administrator for the Miami-Dade County Board of Elections. The purge is likely to be challenged by a host of voting rights groups under the National Voter Registration Act, which prohibits changes to the voter rolls ninety days before an election (Florida holds state and local primaries on August 14).

Since his statement yesterday, Lenny Curry told MSNBC

“There are certainly some issues with the data,” GOP chair Lenny Curry told MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts Thursday. “But we can fix this.”

Sure Lenny.  We believe you.

Watch various Republicans defend the purge list here:

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