Florida's top Republican is playing fast and loose with the facts in trying to defend his state's controversial purge of the voting rolls.
Lenny Curry, the state's Republican party chair, told Hardball host Chris Matthews that not a single eligible U.S. citizen has had their voting rights taken away as a result of the purge, which was engineered by Gov. Rick Scott, a conservative Republican. "There are zero cases of U.S. citizens being removed from the voter rolls," Curry claimed.
Curry said that voters like Bill Internicola, a 91-year old decorated World War Two vet who was wrongly removed from the rolls as part of the purge, have now been reinstated.
That's true in Internicola's case, as well as other hig-profile cases that Democrats and the media has jumped on. But that's because those voters recognized what had happened and took steps to fix the problem. There's no telling how many voters won't read the letter they were mailed by election administrators, or won't take the time to get the problem fixed before Election Day, and will wind up disenfranchised. But, contra Curry, it's almost certain to be more than one.
Recent history confirms that. In 2000, Florida Republicans conducted a very similar purge. The Washington Post reported that as a result, at least 2000 people—a number exceeding George W. Bush's final margin of victory over Al Gore—were wrongly kept off the rolls, and the final tally was almost certainly far higher.
So Curry's claim that no eligible voters have been removed is pretty close to a lie.
The list being used in Florida is so riddled with errors that the state's election administrators said last week they would suspend their purge. But Scott's office has pledged to press on with the effort.