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UPDATE: New developments continue to shed light on the purge and its far-reaching impact. An article in the Atlantic details the possibility that it could lead to a 2000-style fiasco. A woman who is most certainly alivewas removed from the rolls twice because the state thinks she is dead. The Guardian has profiled several other voters who are battling to preserve their rights. Thankfully, there is some good news, as despite being granted access to the SAVE database, it now looks like county election supervisors won’t be removing more voters from the rolls before the August 14 primary. Officials are being encouraged to proceed cautiously since the state may not be able to settle its ongoing disagreement with the federal government over the purge. In other news, Congresswoman Corrine Brown has filed a lawsuit to try to stop early voting cutbacks.
The federal government has granted Governor Rick Scott and Secretary of State Ken Detzner access to the Department of Homeland Security’s Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) database, further fanning the flame under their voter suppression fire. The move followed last month's ruling that the purge did not violate the National Voter Registration Act.
UPDATE: What we expected has come to pass: Secretary of State Ken Detzner has officially responded to the Department of Justice, indicating that the voter purge will continue, throwing his own accusations back at DOJ, and giving them a deadline of June 11 to respond. A legal battle is indeed looming.
News out of Florida this morning suggests that, despite a warning from the Department of Justice, Governor Rick Scott and Secretary of State Ken Detzner will proceed, and possibly expand, their sweeping effort to purge voters from the rolls.
Voting rights and voter suppression, especially voter ID, continue to make headlines in many states. Below is a sample of the latest. For more information, click here and also check out The Right to Vote under Attack: The Campaign to Keep Millions of Americans from the Ballot Box, a Right Wing Watch: In Focus report by PFAW Foundation.
Last year Florida passed HB 1355, or what’s commonly referred to by voting rights advocates as the “Voter Suppression Act” for its disenfranchising impacts, including its reduction of early voting hours and its harsh new restrictions on community groups seeking to help register voters – restrictions that caused the Florida League of Women Voters to drop its registration efforts. DOJ concerns have been filed as part of ongoing litigation. (Click here for more from the Brennan Center.)
Stephen Colbert shed light on the part of the Florida law that mandates community groups turn in voter registration forms within 48 hours of completion, instead of the previous 10 days, and attaches a fine for non-compliance. The Colbert piece features Representative Rich Glorioso, who attended last year’s ALEC meeting. Representative Dennis Baxley, the bill’s lead sponsor, also has ties to ALEC.