Saturday, May 12, 2012

In Florida, cleaning of rolls of non-citizen voters becomes a partisan issue with federal agencies dragging their feet

The Tampa Bay Times reportsAmid an increasingly partisan dogfight, Florida elections officials say the number of potential noncitizens they're examining on the state voter rolls is 180,000, a figure far higher than what was initially reported.
The immediate concern is the large number of potential non-citizens on the rolls and the fact that the Obama Department of Homeland Security is dragging its feet in cooperation with the states.

...By the end of the process, the state could send counties as many as 22,000 names to check, one election source indicated, in a state with more than 12 million total voters.
  Right now, local supervisors have been sent nearly 2,700 names, about 2,000 of which are in Miami-Dade, Florida's most-populous and most-immigrant heavy county.
Some Democrats accuse Republican-appointed Secretary of State Ken Detzner of engaging in a type of "voter suppression." But Detzner's office said he's trying to make sure no unlawful votes are cast — and it indicated that President Barack Obama's administration is stonewalling the effort by refusing to share Department of Homeland Security databases that could more easily show who's a citizen and who's not.

But Democrats don't want to cooperate.
U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Miami, said in a written statement that DHS shouldn't cooperate.  "The Florida Republicans' desire to use Department of Homeland Security information — which is for the purpose of thwarting terrorists and not to engage in yet another round of voter suppression — would set a dangerous precedent," she said, "by not only taking away citizens' constitutional right to vote but by giving state governments free rein to invade innocent Americans' privacy."

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