Rick Scott suing Feds, wants access to govt database for use in voter purge

Updated
By Zaid A. Jilani

Florida Governor Rick Scott is doubling down on his controversial purge of the state’s voter rolls. 

Scott, a Republican, announced Monday afternoon he’s suing the federal government to get access to a Department of Homeland Security database that he claims will help him check the citizenship status of Florida voters. “We want to have fair, honest elections in our state,” Scott said on Fox News. “And so we have been put in a position that we have to sue the federal government to get this information.”

Scott’s move comes after the Justice Department recently ordered Scott to stop the purge, which the Feds say violates the National Voting Rights Act, and which reportedly has knocked hundreds of legitimate voters off the rolls, thanks to a flawed database. Scott’s administration has said it plans to continue with the effort nonetheless.

“We have a year-round obligation to ensure the voter rolls are accurate,” Chris Cate, a spokesman for the Florida Secretary of State’s office told Lean Forward earlier Monday.  

PoliticsNation host Al Sharpton noted Monday evening that 87 percent of the Floridans who are being deemed “noncitizens” and thus ineligible to vote are minorities—who tend to vote for Democrats. 

“I’ve taken time to read the lawsuit, and quite frankly, Reverend, it’s embarrassing,” Ion Sanchoz, supervisor for elections in Leon County, Florida, told Sharpton. ”They don’t even address the legal issues that the Department of Justice asked. Quite frankly this is a political document, that’s all I read it as.” 

“This is a sloppy database,” Sanchez later said of the voter purge. “We learned in 2000 that when you mix sloppy databases with accurate databases, you disenfranchise people. And this state was forced to admit that thousands of legitimate voters were turned away from the polls November 7 [2000]. And that was for political reasons.”

Late Update: That was quick. The Justice Department has now filed its own lawsuit against Florida over the purge.“Please immediately cease this unlawful conduct,” Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez writes.

Rick Scott and Florida

Rick Scott suing Feds, wants access to govt database for use in voter purge

Updated