People For the American Way Foundation

Ruling in Florida purge case

A lawsuit filed by the Department of Justice after Florida Governor Rick Scott and Secretary of State Ken Detzner refused to stop the voter purge suffered a blow this week when Judge Robert Hinkle of the US District Court of Northern Florida refused to issue an injunction against the state.

DOJ stresses that the purge is unlawful under the National Voter Registration Act, and an emergency injunction is needed, because it it’s occurring within 90 days of a federal election and has "critical imperfections" that cause voter confusion, but Judge Hinkle disagreed, saying that federal law does not prohibit Florida from identifying ineligible voters, even with the August 14 primary in sight. Still Hinkle concedes that the purge is "discriminatory, at least in effect" and that:

Determining citizenship is not as easy as the state would have it. Questioning someone’s citizenship isn’t as trivial as the state would have it.

Not only have Hispanic voters, who make up 61% of the people identified on the list but only 14 % of registered Florida voters, been unfairly targeted, but so have countless other likely eligible voters. Even Governor Scott was forced to cast a provisional ballot in 2006 because election officials mistakenly thought he was dead. He was lucky enough to have his vote later counted.

Click here and here for more information, and be sure to 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.

PS – The Right is indeed interested in the outcome in Florida. J. Christian Adams has sought intervention on behalf of True the Vote and Judicial Watch.


112th Congress, citizenship, Department of Justice, DOJ, J. Christian Adams, Judicial Watch, Ken Detzner, National Voter Registration Act, NVRA, Policy Corner, public policy, Rick Scott, Robert Hinkle, True the Vote, voting rights