Transcript: Fox News interview with Florida Gov. Rick Scott on voter purge

Transcript of Fox News interview with Rick Scott on Florida’s voting roll purge on June 11, 2012: 

Neil Cavuto, Fox News anchor: 

“In the meantime things are very getting hot in Florida just days after the Department of Justice forced the state to halt the purge of non-citizens from its voter rolls.

“Florida shot back immediately, declaring the purge perfectly legal and necessary to ensure the integrity of elections and that the program would continue. They even gave the DOJ a deadline to respond today. Did they? Let’s ask the Florida Governor himself, Rick Scott.

“Governor, good to have you. What has the Department told you?”

Gov. Rick Scott (R-Fla.): 

“Well, Neil, you know, the debate is over. Here’s what we’ve found. We have found individuals that are registered to vote – they don’t have a right to vote. They’re non-citizens, and they voted.

“I have a job to do to defend the right of legitimate voters – citizens of our state. We’ve been asking for the Department of Homeland Security’s database SAVE [Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements] for months. They haven’t given it to us.

“So this afternoon we’ll be filing a lawsuit. The Florida Secretary of State’s office will be filing a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security to give us that database.

“We want to have fair, honest elections in our state, and so we’ve been put into a position that we have to sue the federal government to get this information.”

Neil Cavuto, Fox News anchor: 

“All right, now, the DOJ isn’t the only one causing your headaches, right? Sixty-seven election supervisors in your state won’t resume this purge. So what does that tell you? They’re nervous, right?”

Gov. Rick Scott (R-Fla.): 

“Well, look, everybody wants to do their job. And we know individuals are voting. We did a small sample. We have 86 individuals that registered to vote that didn’t have the right to vote. We know 46 of them did.

“We cannot afford to dilute the rights of our citizens their vote. Homeland Security should be giving assists. I’d like to work with them to get this done right. And so because of that, we have no choice but to file this lawsuit today.”

Neil Cavuto, Fox News anchor: 

“Okay, um, your critics, Governor, say since this purge list you’ve found not even a dozen who should not be voting in Florida. Five hundred others were found to be actual citizens. So that so far you aren’t getting – uh, I don’t know – enough bang for the bite here. What do you make of that?”

Gov. Rick Scott (R-Fla.): 

“We did a small sample. We already found 86 that were registered to vote that were non-citizens. We have 46 that voted that we know. I don’t want to dilute the vote of any one citizen or state.

“The right way of doing this – we have a right to this database that Homeland Security has. It’s supposed to be used for voter registration. I look forward to them giving us the database.

“But you know, again, we’re – we don’t have a choice but to sue them this afternoon.”

Neil Cavuto, Fox News anchor: 

“No, I can understand where you’re coming from. But let’s say you’re found to be a citizen, you’re still on that list. It’s an older database. Then you go to, let’s say, Tallahassee or Palm Beach or Miami to vote. You’re on that list. You’re in a world of voting hurt, right? You can’t vote.”

Gov. Rick Scott (R-Fla.): 

“No. There’s a due process. The way it works is first thing you do is the supervisor of the elections in the county sends out a letter. You have an opportunity – 30 days – to respond. After that, they have to put it i the paper. After that, if you don’t respond and you’re not on the rolls, when you go vote, you’ll have a provisional vote and they’ll figure it out afterwards. There’s complete due process.

“And Neil, not one person has been eliminated from the voter rolls that has a right to vote.

“But we know that people that didn’t have the right to vote have voted in our elections.

“That’s not fair to the citizens of our state, and it’s not the way we want our elections. We want fair, honest elections.”

Neil Cavuto, Fox News anchor: 

“No, no. I understand what you’re saying, Governor. I guess what alarms me is that even in your state it seems like a lot of Republicans have your back or have commented much on it. Marco Rubio comes to mind. I went and researched this. And if he has expressed his support for what you’re doing, I stand corrected but as far as I know he has not. So what’s going on there even within your own party?”

Gov. Rick Scott (R-Fla.): 

“Well, look, my job is to enforce the laws of Florida. I’m the Governor of Florida. That’s what I got elected to do. I expect every other elected official to do their job, and I believe they will.

“You know, we’ve already done this small sample. I expect the federal government to do their job. I can’t imagine anybody would want elections that aren’t honest and fair, anybody would want one vote diluted by individuals that don’t have the right to vote.”

Neil Cavuto, Fox News anchor: 

“Now, the ACLU and others predictably said that you’re targeting minorities. They go so far as to say this violates the 1965 Voting Rights Act and that this is setting up bad political news for you and the party in the fall. That a state, in large part thanks to some of the improvements you’ve economically led where the unemployment rate has been coming down helping Republicans – now you’re wrapping yourself around an issue that might not. How do you feel about that?”

Gov. Rick Scott (R-Fla.): 

“Well, you’re right, Neil. We’ve had a great turn in our economy. Unemployment’s dropped from 11.1% to 8.7%. We’ve had the fastest drop of any state but one. This Friday, we’ll find out how we’ve done. Hopefully we’ll continue to go down. I know the federal numbers were worse last month.

“But look, I don’t get to pick and choose what laws I want to enforce. I enforce all of the laws of the land. This is not a partisan issue. This is not a Republican, Democrat, independent issue. This is an issue that we need to have fair elections in our state. I want to make sure that when we have elections, your vote – not one person’s vote – gets diluted by somebody that doesn’t have the right to vote.

Neil Cavuto, Fox News anchor: 

“Now, among Latinos come to the polls and a number of Latino groups have said they’re the ones who are going to be pulled aside. They’re the ones who are going to be questioned more than others simply because they’re Latino. What do you say to that?”

Gov. Rick Scott (R-Fla.): 

“Oh, absolutely not. First off, you know, there’s completely due process. If in the small sample that we’ve already done where we know people have voted illegally, which is a crime. If you’re on that list, you’ll get a letter. And if you show that you’re a citizen, there’s no issue. If you don’t respond, we have to do a newspaper ad. The supervisor of election does. If you don’t respond and you go vote, you still get to vote a provisional ballot. So no one is going to be targeted.

“We want to make sure – look, I want to make sure everyone registered, that has a right, registers to vote and votes. But we’re doing the right thing. This is – we have people that are voting illegally in our races. That’s not right.”




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3 Comments on “Transcript: Fox News interview with Florida Gov. Rick Scott on voter purge

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