Rick Scott Has Decided to Resume His Dumb Voter Purge
Let's get to work oppressing some folks! NYAA!
It looks like Gov. Rick Scott has decided to get back on that voter purge of "noncitizens" horse again, thanks to the Supreme Court's ruling gutting Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.
Scott went on his mostly ineffective, mostly arbitrary voter purge last year after state officials sent local elections supervisors a list of 182,000 possible noncitizen voters, which really turned out to be just 198 possible noncitizen voters.
Of those 198, a whopping 38 of them had cast a vote illegally.
Now, Scott is back to finish the job!
Scott's purge netted nothing, zilch, nada, the first time around. Not enough cases of illegal Florida voters to justify an entire purge, anyway.
This despite the state having access to a federal database to cross-reference the names on their list so they could purge those vile noncitizens from voter rolls.
So, why pick up this crusade again?
Mainly because Scott is up for re-election next year, and mainly because his polls are shit, and mainly because those flagged as possible noncitizens are Hispanic and Black voters. BUT THAT'S JUST A NUTTY COINCIDENCE, NOTHING TO SEE HERE, MOVE ALONG.
Oh, but this time, Secretary of State Ken Detzner says that county supervisors of elections will be involved, because those guys are so awesome at their jobs come election time here in Florida.
And they also try to paint a picture of how easy it all works: Under state law, county elections supervisors will send a certified letter to anyone flagged as a potential noncitizen. This flagged person will have to show proof of citizenship to remain on the rolls through a "due-process system that includes letters and legal notices."
Even if you're an honest-to-goodness bonafide American, you still might get flagged. And if you are flagged, you're going to have to write a few letters to the Chamber of Commerce, obtain a birth certificate or some other approved proof of citizenship, take a day or two off from work and go wait in line somewhere for a few hours before filling out papers and generally move your entire life around just so you can prove you're a citizen, even though you're a citizen anyway.
Or, in other words, Scott is making an already hard process even harder. Which means more minorities -- who are already disenfranchised enough to begin with -- will stay home rather than deal with the headache of proving they're legit so they can vote.
Oh but whatever shall we do about voter indifference??
There is zero evidence of voter fraud in Florida, and while there have been a handful of noncitizens who have voted, the numbers don't justify Scott taking a flamethrower to the process to keep minorities away from the polls come November of 2014
All because almost 40 people who were not citizens once cast a vote.
But we shouldn't be surprised.
Unnecessarily screwing with people's rights to vote has sort of been Scott's M.O.
That and being an awful fucking governor.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss New Times Broward-Palm Beach's biggest stories.
- American John Pate Murdered in Venezuela as Violence Spikes
Sat., Oct. 17, 6:00pm
Sat., Oct. 17, 7:00pm
Wed., Oct. 21, 8:00pm
Fri., Oct. 23, 7:00pm
- Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport Workers Getting a Livable-Wage Raise
- Fort Lauderdale Police Officer Almost Run Over by Erratic Driver (Video)