The American Civil Liberties Union has sued Florida over Gov. Rick Scott’s voter-list purge.
The purge, being run by Secretary of State Ken Detzner, is intended to keep non-citizens off the voter rolls but has improperly snagged many legitimate voters. The Justice Department says that the purge violates both the Voting Rights Act and the National Voter Registration Act, but Florida officials haven’t backed down.
The ACLU suit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, is on behalf of two Florida residents — Murat Limage, a Haitian-American U.S. citizen, and Pamela Gomez, a Dominican-American U.S. citizen — as well as the Mi Familia Vota Education Fund. Detzner is listed as the defendant.
“The illegal program to purge eligible voters uses inaccurate information to remove eligible citizens from the voter rolls,” Howard Simon, executive director of the ACLU’s Florida affiliate, said in a statement. “It seems that Governor Scott and his Secretary of State cannot speak without hiding what they mean in political spin. They mislead Floridians by calling their illegal list purge ‘protecting citizen’s voting rights.’”
“States should not compromise citizens’ fundamental right to vote by conducting illegal voter purges that disproportionately impact minorities,” Katie O’Connor, staff attorney with the ACLU Voting Rights Project, said in a statement. “Such measures are not only illegal, but undermine our democracy by keeping people from participating in the political process.”
A recent poll by Public Policy Polling found that 50 percent of Floridians opposed the voter roll purge.