governor instead of being tossed in jail for
massive Medicare fraud (Andrew Innerarity/Reuters)
“The Florida’s Secretary of State office wil be filing a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security to give us that database,” Scott said. “We want to have fair, honest elections in our state and so we have been put in a position that we have to sue the federal government to get this information.” The move comes after Scott disregarded a request from the Department of Justice on Wednesday to abandon efforts to purge the voter rolls.The database he's referring to is the Homeland Security citizenship database. Florida wants it so that they can cross-check their own citizenship records, which have proven to be spotty and unreliable. Homeland Security is loath to provide access to that database for what appears to be, according to the Department of Justice, a purge of the voting rolls that's flatly illegal to begin with.
As for why Rick Scott is so insistent on this purge, it appears to be for the same reason that other Republican-led states have been engaged in sharp restrictions on voting rights. They're all targeted at minority and poor communities, which tend to lean heavily toward the Democrats in each elections. If the Republicans can't convince those groups to vote for them, then they'll do their best to make it as hard for them to vote as possible. If that means ID restrictions that discriminate mostly against poor or urban residents, so be it. If that means having people show up at the polls only to be told the state no longer believes them to be citizens at all, even better.