Gov. Rick Scott explains his motives for pushing voter purge list

5:16 PM, Jun 4, 2012   |    comments
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Tallahassee, Florida - Gov. Rick Scott says holding fair elections is the main reason behind his directive to remove ineligible voters from Florida's voter rolls.

That effort has put Florida at odds with the federal government. The U.S. Department of Justice wants the state to stop the voter purge, saying it violates the Voting Rights Act.

Florida's list of potential ineligible voters has errors and county elections supervisors have decided not to use it.

Florida has until Wednesday to respond to the feds' order. On Monday, Scott explained his view on the effort to eliminate ineligible voters.

"My focus is making sure that we need to have fair elections. When you go out to vote you want to make sure that the other individuals that are voting have a right to vote. That's what I care about. If you're a candidate, you want to make sure that the people who vote in your election are the people that have a right to vote. So my focus is in making sure that our state has fair elections, people that have a right to vote, vote, because I don't want to disenfranchise anybody in their voting rights."

"The other thing I believe in is everybody ought to register to vote if they can, that has a right to do it, and everybody ought to get involved in these races. They ought to vet the candidates. They ought to support candidates not just with money but going out and holding up signs, putting signs up, do all these things because it's part of America."

Florida has been seeking permission for the past nine months to access a federal Homeland Security immigration database to help identify noncitizens illegally registered to vote, but the request has been denied.

Scott says that lengthy process explains why the timing of this voter purge effort has run so far into the campaign season.

"What we were doing is we were waiting on the Homeland Security database and that kept getting delayed for whatever reason. I'm responsible for the state but my understanding is they just kept delaying it. But what you're trying to do is make sure, I mean, there's no perfect time to do any of these things. We just want fair elections and that's what I always want. This is not a partisan issue. Republicans want fair elections. Democrats, independents, we all do."

Dave Heller

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