We reported last week that AG Eric Holder’s Department of Justice had ordered Florida to halt its purge of dead, illegal and fraudulent voters from the state’s voter rolls. On Sunday, Christian Adams reported that Florida was mulling defying the DOJ order and proceeding with the clean-up as planned. Now, we can report that Florida is making it official: The state will fight the Department of Justice.
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi appeared on Fox earlier this afternoon to discuss the cleanup effort, and she noted that at the beginning of the process, Florida requested to the federal government that it and the state could work together to clean up the state’s voter rolls via the Department of Homeland Security’s Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) database. According to Bondi the federal government declined, only to intervene to try to block the clean up last week.
The office of Florida Gov. Rick Scott released a web Frequently Asked Questions page Wednesday which makes it clear that Florida will continue cleaning up its voter rolls. The very first question spells out what Florida intends to do:
Q: What is Florida going to do to in response to the Department of Justice’s letter?
Florida will continue to protect the rights of citizens to vote. That includes, but is not limited to, ensuring the voter rolls are accurate, and forwarding credible and reliable information whenever such information is discovered. Florida is also continuing to demand access to the federal SAVE database, which is the most accurate database available for verifying voter citizenship status.
The FAQ also notes that the clean up began in September 2011, not this year as some media have reported. The FAQ also deals with the widely reported story of the World War II vet who was allegedly removed from the voter rolls.
Q: What about the World War II veteran I keep hearing about?
We are aware of no U.S. citizens who have been removed from the voter rolls. The World War II veteran in question pointed out a discrepancy in the motor vehicle database and that error was corrected. No further action was taken and at no time was he ever removed from the voting system. The process worked exactly as it was designed to work.
Gov. Scott’s office also released a memo to the media Wednesday noting the state’s communications with the Obama administration regarding use of the SAVE database and other related communications.
True the Vote, an election integrity watchdog group, is hailing Florida’s decision. Chairman Catherine Englebrecht said, “Our Department of Justice is supposed to support the rule of law and safeguard the rights of American citizens. Instead we have the bizarro version of the DOJ; they abandon the rule of law and safeguard only those who they believe will further their race based political agenda.
“We are affiliated with citizen led election integrity groups across the state of Florida and they are livid about the DOJ’s attempt to strong-arm Governor Scott and subvert Florida’s electoral process for political gain. True the Vote applauds Governor Scott for standing strong against the bullying tactics of the Department of Justice. We will do all we can to support Florida’s effort to ensure election integrity.”
Florida’s decision puts the ball back in Attorney General Holder’s court. What will DOJ do now that Florida has publicly announced its plans to proceed with the voter roll clean up?