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Republican Florida Governor Rick Scott speaks at a meeting of the Latin Builders Association in Miami, Florida January 27, 2012.    REUTERS/Joe Skipper   (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS)
Gov. Rick Scott, still trying to decide 2012. (Reuters)
AP is reporting that the Department of Homeland Security has granted Florida access to its Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) database, giving the state access to a list of resident noncitizens maintained by DHS. But there are some restrictions and some caveats, as explained by Election Smith. The key part:
First, the pending agreement with Homeland Security prohibits the state of Florida from using only the name and birth date of registered voters when requesting SAVE data to verify whether registered voters are noncitizens. Second, the Division of Elections may only access the SAVE database if it provides a “unique identifier"—such as an “alien number” or a certificate number on a Certificate of Naturalization or Certificate of Citizenship—for those who it suspects may be ineligible to be registered to vote.
The state doesn't—and shouldn't—require that information for voter registration. And the only information that might include a "unique identifiers" that the state has, the drivers license records, they admit is obsolete and shouldn't be used. Election Smith has this snippet from a letter Sec. of State Ken Detzner sent to the state's 67 county election supervisors, telling them not to use the existing list (which was culled from the out-of-date drivers list):
The process to identify potential non-citizens will include a carefully calibrated matching process between the Florida Voter Registration System and the driver’s license records of the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles before any records are verified through SAVE. The existing file of potentially ineligible voters which was created months ago, is now outdated and will not be used as the basis for further action by the Department of State. It should be considered obsolete.
So the only information the state can use to check against the SAVE database is from admittedly inaccurate and outdated information, the driver's license records. Detzner is suggesting it's only outdated because it's a few months old, but it's the same incorrect data that caught up eligible voters and citizens in its first iteration. That's supposed to be matched against a database, as Election Smith says, "created for vastly different purposes."

That's bound to lead to more false matches, and more eligible voters purged off the rolls, stripped of the right to vote. The best hope we have is that the county election supervisors, who called a halt to the purge when the initial problems with the list emerged, that they'll be extremely cautious in proceeding with any database "matches."

We need those elections supervisors to do the right thing, because the Republican administration in Florida is intent on continuing this purge and stealing the election.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 12:06 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (28+ / 0-)

    "There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning." —Warren Buffett

    by Joan McCarter on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 12:06:02 PM PDT

  •  WTF??? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alasmoses, Nica24, slowbutsure

    Oh good lord.

    Hopefully this DOJ is still pursing this.

    Love will save you from the cold light of boring reality... But it won't save me -- SWANS

    by jethrock on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 12:10:32 PM PDT

    •  Homeland Security probably couldn't justify... (12+ / 0-)

      ...withholding the information.

      And personally, I think it is a kick in the testicles for Scott. He'll have to go thru the HS list and probably end up finding a paltry number of "illegal voters", then have DoJ review his review which will probably make the final number even smaller.

      Florida is permanently no worse than "toss up." And we can probably "out register" them for new voters between now and whenever the Florida cut off is.

      When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

      by Egalitare on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 01:09:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  except that voter registration (0+ / 0-)

        is risky business for canvassers in that state.

        --Mr. President, you have to earn my vote every day. Not take it for granted. --

        by chipoliwog on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 04:46:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  That's my reading. (0+ / 0-)

        Scott is about to get eaten by the machine.  

        DOJ never said how FAST they would review the cases Scott submits.  

        Assuming he uses the right form and affidavits the first time he submits an individual for comparison, with the backlog of operational necessities, higher priorities and a lack of funding, not to mention recent reductions in staff........

        Of course, a cashier's check from the State of Florida, approved by the legislature and deemed legal by the State court system might speed the process up.

        Maybe.

        Evil.   Genius.

    •  This is a defeat for Scott and the GOP, which the (8+ / 0-)

      media seems to be trying to help Scott spin it as a victory. The qualifiers make it virtually useless as a voter suppression tool. Pa. should be so lucky. That supposed 750,000 would drop like a rock.

  •  The election supervisors should continue... (14+ / 0-)

    to refuse to go ahead with any type of purge, as they have been doing so far.  They are elected officials, asshole Gov. Scott can't fire them.

    “For the first time in two decades, Osama bin Laden is not a threat to this country.” President Obama 1/24/12

    by BarackStarObama on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 12:14:37 PM PDT

  •  FL felon list? Gov. a former prisoner of Azkaban (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bear83, slowbutsure, lonespark

    Sorry, a bad joke. Florida has a horrible record regarding allowing former felons to vote, too.

    And just how many resident non-citizens even try to vote? This list will be used based on last names. Assholes.

    What of the law regarding purging voters this close to the election?

    Roman Catholic by birth---thoroughly confused by life.

    by alasmoses on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 12:17:23 PM PDT

  •  Unabashed.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bear83, kefauver

    Unashamed, lying sacks of garbage.

    That descibes Rick Scott.  It takes more than one sack to describe him....and yet, LESS than one sac.

    Aldus Shrugged : The Antidote to Ayn Rand. @floydbluealdus1

    by Floyd Blue on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 12:21:12 PM PDT

  •  I wouldn't put up with this crap. (8+ / 0-)

    I've voted for nearly 30 years and I'm not walking into my polling place to have some nasty old bastard tell me that I can't vote. I'd pitch the boogie-woogie from hell if they did that and no I would not care if they arrested me. Go ahead, arrest me.

    Nobody should put up with this. Let the Internet be filled with photos and video of the cops shooting teargas at people demanding to vote in the United State of America. I'm sure that'll look real swell.

    This head movie makes my eyes rain.

    by The Lone Apple on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 01:38:14 PM PDT

  •  Well, I'm confused: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lonespark

    Does this mean Texas WILL or WILL NOT use Florida's felon list to try to remove people from the voter rolls?  Or do they use the SAVE data base for FL and just use it in TX for all the similar hits they get, based on last names but no other corroborating identifiers?

    Torture is Wrong! We live near W so you don't have to. Send love.

    by tom 47 on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 01:41:10 PM PDT

  •  We're fucked in Florida before the "election" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lonespark

    even starts if Scott gets away with this crap.

    Chicago--Proud Home of the 1908 World Series Champion Chicago Cubs

    by Jeff Y on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 01:41:25 PM PDT

  •  What do we truly want? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG, lonespark, Orinoco, JPax

    We DO want only U.S. citizens to vote in America, right?  I'm not sure I truly understand why any kind of database that identifies undocumented individuals shouldn't be available to states to verify voter qualifications.  I mean, that would seem to be paramount, I think.

    Maybe the problem is in giving away personal information that shouldn't be given away or something.  But, getting information about undocumented people in our country that is available, you'd think, should be available from the fed.

    Maybe I'm not seeing the big picture here.

    The truth is sometimes very inconvenient.

    by commonsensically on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 01:43:11 PM PDT

    •  I think the problem is how it's used (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lonespark, alasmoses, JPax, sethtriggs, Matt Z

      and how many criteria are used to make a match.  

      There's probably one Jose M. Rodriguez in my county who shouldn't be voting, and a dozen more who should.    Besides name and date of birth, you ought to have other corroborating information:  ssn, present and past addresses, alien registration number, etc.  

      If you match up on ten different data points, okay, fine, disqualify that voter.   But just on name and DOB?  That leads to wrongful purges.  

      "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

      by lgmcp on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 01:52:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  We do want only US citizens to vote (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lgmcp, alasmoses, TofG, JPax, sethtriggs, Matt Z

      but think about it: how many undocumented aliens will voluntarily put their name and address on a state document of any kind, knowing it might get them deported?

      We're talking about people who do not want to be seen, officially. People who have their US citizen cousins and aunts and uncles sign apartment leases and apply for utilities and get telephones for them.

      People who work for cash on the barrel-head, because they won't even get checking accounts to manage their money.

      The very idea that there are hordes of undocumented immigrants just waiting to vote fraudulently in US elections is absurd.

      My guess is that when fraudulent voting happens, it is by actual US citizens who are trying to maintain the fiction of living at their old address after they've moved, probably for tax purposes.

      "The problems of incompetent, corrupt, corporatist government are incompetence, corruption and corporatism, not government." Jerome a Paris

      by Orinoco on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 02:27:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It only takes one (0+ / 0-)

        If only one person in my district is an illegal voter and votes differently than me, then my vote is null and void.

        That's the issue, not the number of people that vote illegally.

        I am not advocating anything that we here don't believe in...but I truly believe that anyone that isn't "qualified" to vote, shouldn't.

        I'm betting there are very few people here that disagree with that.

        The truth is sometimes very inconvenient.

        by commonsensically on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 03:01:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And what about the 60 people (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Orinoco, Matt Z

          who would have voted the same way as you except that poll-tax-style ID requirements kept them away?  

          Yes, the one miscast vote is wrong and should be stopped.   But should we spend 3000x the resources to stop that one, than we spent to stop the disenfranchisement of 60?  The issue is not the absolute wrongness.  The issue is the shocking disparity between what we DO about the two different kinds of wrongness.

          Here's another example.  Sure, we all agree that murder is wrong and should be punished.  And we agree that convicting innocent people is wrong, and should be avoided. So where should we focus the most resources?  Should we give the lions share to making sure that not a single murderer goes free?  Or should we, perhaps, devote SOME resources to avoiding the conviction and capital punishment of folks who are actually innocent?

          "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

          by lgmcp on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 04:02:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Have there been any reports (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lgmcp, Orinoco, Matt Z

          of anyone in your district attempting to vote illegally?

        •  Paranoia strikes deep (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lgmcp, indie17, Matt Z

          If the chupacabre sneaks into your polling place and chews up your ballot, it won't count, either, but what are the odds of that happening?

          The real issue is Republican Governor Rick Scott is trying to use phony claims of massive illegal registrations to purge actual voters from the voting lists. And he is targeting those purges at people who are likely to vote Democratic.

          So some Republicans might get caught in the gears? Too bad, so sad, it's just a numbers game after all, they made a sacrifice for the "greater good." It's all about winning, by fair means or foul, never mind about that franchise hooey.

          Your concern is noted. No one is advocating that people not eligible be allowed to vote.

          "The problems of incompetent, corrupt, corporatist government are incompetence, corruption and corporatism, not government." Jerome a Paris

          by Orinoco on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 04:14:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Here ya go: (0+ / 0-)

          “It is more important that innocence be protected than it is that guilt be punished, for guilt and crimes are so frequent in this world that they cannot all be punished. But if innocence itself is brought to the bar and condemned, perhaps to die, then the citizen will say, "whether I do good or whether I do evil is immaterial, for innocence itself is no protection," and if such an idea as that were to take hold in the mind of the citizen that would be the end of security whatsoever.”
          ― John Adams

    •  correct in principle, but not in application. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sethtriggs, lgmcp, indie17, Matt Z

      The way they target some areas more than others may suggest profiling, as well as often simply being incorrect.

      -We need Healthcare Reform... but i'm selfish, I Need Healthcare reform-

      by JPax on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 03:10:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Stealing an election is when felons vote. We don't (0+ / 0-)

    need felons to win this election.

    "If the past sits in judgment on the present, the future will be lost." Winston Churchill

    by Kvetchnrelease on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 01:44:07 PM PDT

  •  Register please!! (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kefauver, Aquarius40, lgmcp, Nance, Matt Z

    Today is the LAST day to register for Florida's Aug. 14 primary. We went out this weekend and some are out today.

    Regardless of what Scott tries to do, we must work to ensure he fails. Tell friends and family to register now!!

  •  Sure, I'm old and 97% senile (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aquarius40, lonespark, JPax, Nance, Matt Z

    but way back when, wasn't HS supposed to be to fight terrorists?

    For the 7th time today, I get to say "strange, strange stuff"! (not that that's a good thing!!)

    •  This this goes on Americans may become terrorists. (0+ / 0-)

      I know that if I was denied the ability to vote, I would consider it a casus belli.

      -We need Healthcare Reform... but i'm selfish, I Need Healthcare reform-

      by JPax on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 03:12:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  So, when I vote- (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kefauver, lonespark, sfcouple, Nance, Matt Z

    in Highlands County, Fl., will the U.N. send observers to make sure this election is legit?

  •  Gee, Scott and the FL GOP Aren't Transparent, Huh? (0+ / 0-)

    If I'm a FL voter, I'm questioning Scott's motives and priorities.  

    Obamacare is upheld by the SCOTUS. Time for some Kossacks to eat a plate of crow.

    by kefauver on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 01:46:11 PM PDT

  •  Hmmm (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG, lonespark

    It strikes me there is more to this than meets the eye.  I smell something like a plea bargain:  we will help you detect ACTUAL non-citizens if you knock it the hell off with bogus detections on actual citizens.  

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 01:47:39 PM PDT

    •  more like a catch-22 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lgmcp

      He can access the HS database to confirm certain registered voters are ineligible using valid data, but he can't confirm them because it's already been established that his data if not valid. At least, that's how I read it.

      -We need Healthcare Reform... but i'm selfish, I Need Healthcare reform-

      by JPax on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 03:16:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  How to steal an election... (7+ / 0-)

    This is perhaps the most breathtaking attempt to subvert democracy and disenfranchise Americans that we have seen in decades. Scott and the GOP cannot get away with this, no matter what it takes to stop them. If it takes federal troops occupying Tallahassee, they had better do it.  These hateful, anti-American conservative dunces are taking dead aim at the basic rights of Americans enshrined in our founding documents. The GOP's master plan of making it harder to vote is bad enough. but Rick Scott's brazen and truly evil strategy of literally throwing legitimate voters off of the rolls and barring them from polling places just because thev are black, brown, independents or Democrats is the most insidious and anti-American thing we've seen since Jim Crow. I say to the DOJ, arrest Rick Scott if he does not stop his madness.   http://www.sunstateactivist.org

  •  Even assuming the records are accurate (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lgmcp, TofG, sethtriggs, Nance, Matt Z

    and this is a good idea (I don't,) I have practiced immigration law for a very long time.  Children under the age of 18 when their parents naturalize (now one parent) are AUTOMATICALLY citizens.  They do not need to apply for a Certificate of Citizenship (several hundred dollars) they just ARE citizens.  They will not be found on this damn list, but they are eligible to vote. Again the word Poll Tax-file a form you do not need to file because your citizenship is automatic, here's your passport. Idiotic.

    The thing about democracy, beloveds, is that it is not neat, orderly, or quiet. It requires a certain relish for confusion. Molly Ivins

    by MufsMom on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 02:16:37 PM PDT

  •  I wonder if illegal voters, that also show up... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nance

    ...on Republican donor lists, will be purged.

    Bet they won't.  And you can be damn sure it's being cross checked so that ONLY likely Democratic voters will get the boot.

  •  Joan, thanks for staying on top of this (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG, lady blair, Matt Z

    for us.  

    This whole effort of voter suppression by Scott is just blatant discrimination and I sure hope the Feds will be monitoring this despicable action by Florida's Governor.

    "It took us a couple of days because I like to know what I'm talking about before I speak." President Barack Obama 3/24/09

    by sfcouple on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 02:27:20 PM PDT

  •  How about a counter proposal? (0+ / 0-)

    How about we propose that re-registration using a photo ID can occur but most be performed by ALL voters and require that states expend the resources necessary to ensure that everyone who is eligible to vote is provided with a photo ID and registered, and all this must be performed by a certain date before a general or primary election.

    I don't see much data to support the notion that the system is broken, but if its to be fixed, we may as well do it right.

    I've read that some progressives don't want distinctions between citizens and resident aliens, but if that's so they may want to agitate for a world government instead of including non-citizens in a local government.

    -We need Healthcare Reform... but i'm selfish, I Need Healthcare reform-

    by JPax on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 03:05:42 PM PDT

  •  Blazing Saddles Redux (0+ / 0-)

    This all has a surreal deja-vu feeling, like that scene from Blazing Saddles where the black sheriff takes himself hostage saying "NOBODY MOVE OR THE N****R GETS IT!"

    What happens if Florida, Texas, Arizona and who knows how many other states decide to start playing funny with election laws?  The Federal government by law must step in, if the States are violating Federal law.  It's a railroad switch the GOP won't be able to keep their hands off of, to derail the election in order to give the election to Romney.  

    They will take States out of play if it wins them the White House.  Count on it.

  •  There's less than meets the eye here...unless... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sethtriggs, indie17

    The letter Detzner sent out (and that was picked up by the press) was mostly an attempt to put a positive spin on a loss.

    The SAVE database is a tool to verify immigration documents you have, so when somebody presents, say, a green card to claim they are entitled to some government benefit.  The validity of that green card can be checked.  The database can say the document is invalid. it's valid, or it's been superseded (e.g., by the person becoming a naturalized citizen).

    Fundamentally, though, the system does not verify people, it verifies documents.

    What Detzner claims as a victory is, in fact, what the Dept. of Homeland Security has been offering to do all along: let Florida validate immigration documents.

    The reason this is only a sideshow is that you do not have to present immigration documents to register to vote.  Presenting proof of legal residence is required for getting driver's licenses, but only for those issued starting on 1/1/2010 (except for those renewed by mail after that date).  So only a very small subset of driver's licenses have any information about a person's status, maybe 10%, the majority of those being US citizens. What % of the rest actually have a record of an immigration document along with the correct id for that document?  Very, very few you'd have to imagine.

    So either the letter is (a) a surrender document written to look like victory, or (b) a total smoke screen around generating a second bogus list of illegal voters to continue the effort to purge people who might vote Dem.  When the next batch of suspected illegal voters comes out we'll know by the size of the list.  If it's in the 1K+ range it's going to be total BS.

    •  Also Still Too Late to use for this election (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nance

      Federal law says no voter purging within 90 days of a federal election which means that access to this database will do nothing to help them purge lists for this cycle.

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