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With Campaign in Chaos, Rick Scott Halts Voter Purge

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With his campaign in chaos following racist jokes made by his campaign senior staff, Rick Scott's administration announced today that they would “suspend” their efforts to kick voters off the voter rolls this year. 

“After the first voter purge disproportionately targeted legal voters within Florida’s Hispanic and African-American communities, Rick Scott made it clear that he intended on carrying out a second purge ahead of the 2014 elections,” said Florida Democratic Party Chair Allison Tant

“Now, embroiled in a scandal involving racist jokes targeting Hispanics, the Governor suddenly has made about-face and suspends the latest attempt to kick voters off of the voting rolls — attempts that have overwhelmingly targeted Hispanics in the past. It is now clear to all that the original reasons given for the voter purge where mere pretexts to intimidate voters Rick Scott would frankly rather not vote,” added Tant. 

"While this move is clearly an act of damage-control from a campaign in chaos, this represents a major victory for the people of Florida who have suffered so many voter suppression efforts under the Rick Scott administration.” 

 

Background:

State may suspend non-citizen voter purge efforts

By Steve Bousquet | 11:04 AM on Thursday, Mar. 27, 2014

Facing overwhelming resistance from county election supervisors in a busy election year, Gov. Rick Scott's administration is expected to suspend all efforts in 2014 to comb the Florida voter rolls of suspected non-citizens.

Scott's chief elections official, Secretary of State Ken Detzner, held conference calls with supervisors Thursday, during which he said the state is reluctant to move forward due until it can evaluate new changes to a federal homeland security database, known as SAVE.

Detzner promised a final decision later Thursday. "This process," he said, "causes me some concern in terms of being able to implement a program with credibility and reliability, such that it would not affect or distract supervisors."

Detzner sought input from supervisors on the suspension of purge efforts, and it wasn't long in coming. 

"It is a good idea to postpone the project until we're sure we have it right," said Citrus County Supervisor Susan Gill. "The closer it gets to the election which I know you're well aware of, the more likely is it is that we'll get a lot of criticism.”