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Statement on Gov. Scott’s Announcement he’ll Sue DHS to Continue Voter Purge

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Tallahassee, FL - Florida Democratic Party Chairman Rod Smith today issued the following statement in reaction to embattled Gov. Rick Scott’s announcement that he will sue the Department of Homeland Security in his continued effort to purge Florida voters from the rolls.

Statement from Florida Democratic Party Chairman Rod Smith:

“It is disappointing but predictable that this very unpopular Tea Party Governor would spend taxpayer dollars trying to discourage Floridians from voting – despite the directive of the Department of Justice and the concerns expressed by the state’s Supervisors of Elections. With all the serious problems in Florida, surely Rick Scott has something more important to do than focus on purging the voting rolls in pursuit of a problem that does not exist.”

Background:

  • A majority of Florida voters disapprove of Gov. Scott's voter purge, and his efforts are driving down his already dismal approval ratings. A recent Public Policy Polling survey found that "a majority (50-percent) of Florida voters disapprove of Scott’s push to eliminate some people from the registered voter rolls." Scott's already dismal approval ratings have plummeted to just 31-percent "as his voter-elimination efforts are beginning to surface (and be scrutinized) nationally" and "his effort is facing significant disapproval." [Public Policy Polling, 6/8/2012]
  • Gov. Scott's administration attempted to purge legal voters, including a veteran and small business owner.  Bill Internicola, 91 year old decorated WWII veteran who has voted in Florida for 14 years received notice from Broward County  stating he was ineligible to vote, as did Maureen Russo -- a small business owner who has been a registered voter in Florida for the last four decades [ThinkProgress 5/29/2012; ThinkProgress, 5/25/2012]
  • Nearly all of Florida's 67 Election Supervisors have suspended the purge. "Florida elections supervisors said Friday they will discontinue a state-directed effort to remove names from county voter rolls because they believe the state data is flawed and because the U.S. Department of Justice has said the process violates federal voting laws" [ThinkProgress, 6/2/2012]

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