Monday, June 04, 2012

A Breath of Sanity

It's been an interesting news weekend on several fronts. George Zimmerman is back in jail, his bond revoked for misleading the judge on his financial status. Governor Scott Walker has now transferred $100,000 from his campaign funds to his legal defense funds, apparently out of concern that he will be indicted shortly after the election. And in the best news of all, Florida state elections commissioners, have decided to hold off on any further purging of the official voter eligibility lists.

From Think Progress:

On Thursday, the Justice Department demanded Florida Governor Rick Scott end his extensive purge of registered voters from the rolls because it was in violation of federal law. Scott still hasn’t formally responded but his county election supervisors have already taken action.

The Palm Beach Post reports:

Florida elections supervisors said Friday they will discontinue a state-directed effort to remove names from county voter rolls because they believe the state data is flawed and because the U.S. Department of Justice has said the process violates federal voting laws...

The Justice Department letter and mistakes that the 67 county elections supervisors have found in the state list make the scrub undoable, said Martin County Elections Supervisor Vicki Davis, president of the Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections…

Ron Labasky, the association’s general counsel, sent a memo to the 67 supervisors Friday telling them to stop processing the list.

“I recommend that Supervisors of Elections cease any further action until the issues raised by the Department of Justice are resolved between the parties or by a Court,” Labasky wrote.

Previously, the State of Florida indicated they intended to accelerate the purge. Florida has until June 6 to respond to the Justice Department.

Like many states with a Republican governor or Republican majority in the legislature, Florida wants to suppress voter turn-out by making it difficult to impossible for elders, the poor, and people of color from voting. Most other states are doing it by requiring state issued identification cards which can only be obtained with a birth certificate or proof of naturalization. Florida Governor Rick Scott, however, found a trashier way: he'll just declare those voters ineligible unless they can prove otherwise within thirty days of receiving the state notice.

When the Department of Justice threatened the law suit, Scott responded by ordering the purge ramped up. Even state employees involved in the process admit that the lists they were working from were so error-ridden that they really couldn't do the job properly, much less expeditiously.

It will be interesting to see what happens this Wednesday when Florida has to respond to the DOJ notice.

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Blogger Diane said...

Thanks to mp for spotting the egregious error in the first paragraph. It's Zimmerman, not Martin

6:15 AM  

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