Last week Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner demanded that the Department of Justice answer a few questions pertaining to the state’s ability to access databases they claim would refine their voter purge. They gave the DOJ until Monday to respond. Unfortunately for the state, and the Florida tax payers who will eventually have to pay the bill, the response may not have been what they were hoping for.
Late Monday the Department of Justice sent a letter to the state notifying them that the DOJ will be suing Florida over its illegal voter purge. Agreeing with the letter sent by the Fair Elections Legal Network to the Florida Secretary of State, the DOJ stated that the purge violates the National Voter Registration Act, as it is an attempt to purge voters within 90 days of the upcoming federal primary election on August 14.
Other portions of the DOJ’s letter appeared to be a clear response to the state of Florida’s actions earlier in the day. Before receiving the official response, it appeared that Governor Rick Scott wasn’t willing to wait for the DOJ, as the state announced that it was suing the Department of Homeland Security over attempts to access what is known as the SAVE database. Making the announcement on Fox News, Scott claimed that he was purging voters from the rolls in an attempt to defend the rights of legitimate voters.
Seemingly in response, the DOJ first asked Florida to turn over any names of non citizens who have voted illegally, as it is already a criminal offense. The DOJ then laid out the reasons that Florida’s attempts to push blame to the federal government simply don’t hold up.
The SAVE database, as the letter explained, is not a complete or accurate account of citizenship and requires specific numeric identifiers which the Division of Elections admitted they did not have. It is also not searchable by name and birth date alone. The data that the Division of Elections was collecting at the time was therefore insufficient to warrant the use of the SAVE database. According to the DOJ, when it comes to lack of access to the SAVE database, Florida has no one to blame but themselves.
As the lawsuits begin, and the voter purge continues in at least one county, we must ask what price Rick Scott is willing to force Florida to pay in his quest to purge the rolls, both in terms of taxpayer dollars spent in court and legitimate voters denied their rights.