Posted by on July 17, 2012 in Blog
Governor Rick Scott's controversial voter purge was revitalized last week, when the Department of Homeland Security granted Florida access to its Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) database. The SAVE database will give election officials the identification numbers of non-citizens living legally in the United States, providing Gov. Scott's administration with another method of adding names to the list of those considered ineligible to vote.
Florida’s voter purge is just one part of a widespread effort to restrict voter turnout and GOTV efforts, which is taking place in some 27 states across the country. The Brennan Center for Justice estimates that the new constraints could disenfranchise as many as 5 million voters across the country, and would impact minority and disadvantaged voters particularly harshly. Florida’s voter purge is no exception; a Miami Herald analysis of the ineligible voters list found that Hispanics and other minorities would be disproportionately affected by the purge. In a swing state like Florida, those votes could make all the difference in this year’s elections.
Although DHS has denied the Florida government's requests to access the database for months, the tables were turned recently when a judge ruled against the federal government's attempts to end the voter purge. Voting rights groups have argued that the voter purge is taking place too close to the November elections, not giving enough time to sort out errors in the lists. Election supervisors have confirmed that the lists erroneously contained hundreds of eligible voters.
Now the voter purge will continue with the backing of the federal government, and will give little time for election officials to correct mistakes.
If you, or someone you know, have been informed that your right to vote might be in question, please contact us.
Make sure to visit our Florida state page for key election dates and voting information.
The Arab American Community Center of Central Florida and EMERGE USA have been helping register new voters in the lead-up to the August 14th primary election. Contact them to get involved with GOTV efforts or learn more about voting in Florida:
Arab American Community Center
407-504-7333 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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