In case anyone had any doubts, a Florida newspaper did an analysis of Governor Rick Scott’s voter purge and this is what they found:
Hispanic, Democratic and independent-minded voters are the most likely to be targeted in a state hunt to remove thousands of noncitizens from Florida’s voting rolls, a Miami Herald computer analysis of elections records has found.
Whites and Republicans are disproportionately the least-likely to face the threat of removal, the analysis of a list of more than 2,600 potential noncitizens shows. The list was first compiled by the state and furnished to county election supervisors and then the Herald.
The numbers change by the day. The state’s Division of Elections says it initially identified roughly 180,000 potential noncitizens by performing a search of a computer database that doesn’t have the most-updated information.
About 58 percent of those identified as potential noncitizens are Hispanics, Florida’s largest ethnic immigrant population. They make up just 13 percent of the overall 11.3 million active registered voters.
The DOJ are looking into it, because conservatives have apparently decided they don’t have to comply with any federal election laws they don’t like, including the Voting Rights Act:
Florida Governor Rick Scott (R) denied that his effort to purge voters from the rolls disproportionately targets minorities who support Democratic candidates on Friday morning, even as independent investigations have confirmed that 58 percent “of those flagged as potential noncitizens are Hispanics.” “The Secretary of State’s office is doing the right thing,” Scott told the Miami Herald in defending his effort, before insisting that the administration is “absolutely not” targeting minorities.
Asked if he was planning to heed the Department of Justice’s request that the state abandon its voter-cleansing program, Scott said that the Secretary of State is still reviewing the matter.
“The Secretary of State’s office is going to review what the Department of Justice has said,” he said “And then we’re going to make a decision.”
In a letter released on Thursday, the federal government claimed that Scott’s purge violates the 1965 Voting Rights Act — which requires the state to seek federal approval of its campaign — and the National Voter Registration Act. That measure says that “a State shall complete, not later than 90 days prior to the date of a primary or general election for Federal office, any program the purpose of which is to systematically remove the names of ineligible voters from the official lists of eligible voters.” As a result, Florida should have finished the process by May 16. But while Scott is still considering his options, a growing number of election officials have already rejected his error-ridden voter purge list.
I know I beat this drum a lot, but I think it’s important. We bitch about national media and the national political press constantly, but Rick Scott is the governor of a state, that state is Florida, and Florida newspapers are all over this. Because national media are defending private equity or chasing after Donald Trump doesn’t mean Scott’s actions on this aren’t getting attention. It is never a great thing for the governor of a state, any state, to have to deny that he is targeting minority voters and that’s what Scott’s had to do for days now.
We could use the national political press for one thing, though. They could ask Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio what they think about the this. Do they agree that Scott should continue the purge, even with all this evidence that it is an absolute disaster?
One final thing. I am really, really grateful that conservatives have not succeeded (yet!) in gutting the Voting Rights Act. Conservative governors may be the absolute best argument for why we still need it.