DHS grants Florida database access to aid in voter purge
The Department of Homeland Security will grant Florida access to the federal “Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements” (SAVE) database to help the state purge registered voters who are not U.S. citizens.
“Access to the SAVE database will ensure that non-citizens do not vote in future Florida elections,” said Gov. Rick Scott (R-Fla.). “We’ve already confirmed that non-citizens have voted in past elections here in Florida. Now that we have the cooperation of the Department of Homeland Security, our state can use the most accurate citizenship database in the nation to protect the integrity of Florida’s election process.”
The decision was announced a month after Florida sued the Department of Homeland Security for wrongfully denying access to the SAVE database, which provides information to government agencies to determine the immigration status of individuals who apply for federal, state, or local benefits and licenses.
In the meantime, however, Florida is being sued by the Justice Department for wrongfully removing names of eligible voters and for violating the 90-day “quiet period” mandated by Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA).
Under Section 8, states are prohibited from removing names from voter rolls within 90-days of a federal primary or general election. This “quiet period” was instituted to give voters adequate notification and time to redress any improper name removals or to re-register to vote.
The ACLU of Florida is also suing the state for improperly removing names of naturalized American citizens from the voter list. The ACLU accused the state of disenfranchising people of color, pointing out that Hispanic Americans account for 61% of the state’s “ineligible” voter list but make up only 14% of the state’s registered voters.
- FLGov.com: Statement from Governor Scott Regarding Access to Federal SAVE Database
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services: Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) Program
- Florida Department of State: Florida Department of State v. Department of Homeland Security – June 11, 2012 (PDF)
- WhatTheFolly.com: Justice Department sues Florida over voter purge