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Florida GOP Sec of State Suddenly Cares About Voter Intimidation

Last updated on February 7th, 2013 at 10:44 pm

In a previous post, I reported on some scam letters sent to voters to several counties in Florida. There are many questions that remain unanswered as the FBI and Florida’s law enforcement work to find the source of those letters.

At this point, we don’t know who is behind it and, as of yet, we don’t know why. It could be an attempt to steal people’s identities, deny them the vote or something else.
I am glad that State and Federal law enforcement is investigating. Whatever the motives were, I also hope the people behind this scam are caught and held accountable under the applicable laws.

At the same time, this incident raises questions for Florida’s Secretary of State.
Florida Today reports that the Secretary of State, Ken Detzner made the following comment in an email to Florida’s 67 county supervisors.

The Department of State takes this possible act of voter intimidation and fraudulent activity very seriously and is pursuing all avenues to ensure the practice is immediately stopped, as we do with all attempts at voter intimidation or fraud. The department is referring any information about these letters and other cases of potential voter fraud to law enforcement.

The Tampa Bay Times reported on October 2nd that Ken Detzner has yet to speak publically about the alleged fraudulent activity by Republican strategist, Nathan Sproul and his company Strategic Allied Consulting.

With less than a week before the deadline to register to vote in the November election, Republican state leaders who had made voter fraud a top issue are offering little insight into how they are handling the increasing numbers of suspicious registration forms being found throughout Florida.

What gives, Secretary Detzner? Where was your concern when the perpetrator was known to authorities and election fraud had occurred? Where are you instructions to Country Election Officials?

There’s also the fact that the Secretary of State utilized attempts at voter intimidation with his purge lists and other efforts to suppress the vote. Many of these measures were struck down by the courts.

Here are a few examples as reported by Think Progress

Florida: Gov. Rick Scott (R) signed a bill last year to impose harsh new restrictions on third-party voter registration groups, requiring them to turn in completed registration forms 48 hours — to the minute — after completion, or face fines. A federal judge blocked the law in late May and agreed to permanent kill its provisions this week. In a separate case, a judge rejected provisions earlier this month that would have reduced the number of days and hours available for earlier voting.

The difference is the voters most likely to be targeted by these measures were Democrats. The state settled a suit filed by a voter activist organization promising to cease establishing purge lists, based on data that was known to be inaccurate. While settling the case, the State was establishing yet another voter purge lis again on flawed information.

The difference is, as CBS reported most recently, Republicans were not on the purge lists.

According to CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald, the list was sent to county elections supervisors who have just 41 days before the November general election. According to the Herald, Republicans are least likely to be identified as noncitizens while Hispanics are more likely than whites or African-Americans to be tagged.

People who were on the purge lists also received letters questioning their eligibility to vote – on Ken Detzner’s instructions.

Lenny Curry, the Chairman of the Florida Republican Party tweeted to us in response to our first article, “hey genius. Guess who got the letters? Republicans. Do your homework & get off the lefty blogs.” We’re confused as to how Lenny Curry knows who got the letters, when the investigation is still ongoing and there are reports of Democrats getting them as well.

It’s always wrong to intimidate voters or attempt to strip eligible voters of their franchise. It doesn’t matter whether the voter is Republican, a Democrat or an Independent. Every eligible voter should have the right to vote without intimidation, be it from a mystery person or from their State officials.

It’s just as intimidating when a Democrat is on the receiving end of a letter questioning their citizenship and with it their right to vote as it is when a Republican is on the receiving end.

Image from CFNews13

Adalia Woodbury

Former contributor.

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