Gov. Rick Scott's voter purge effort called a case of 'terribly misplaced priorities'

2:56 PM, Sep 21, 2012   |    comments
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Tallahassee, Florida - Gov. Rick Scott faces another lawsuit from voter groups over his effort to eliminate noncitizens from the state's voter rolls.

The groups, including the Florida Immigrant Coalition, are asking a federal judge to block the voter purge effort because they say it comes within 90 days of an election and thus violates federal law.

The governor is also facing off with the League of Women Voters of Florida on the issue.

The League calls it a case of terribly misplaced priorities for the state to dedicate time and resources to search for noncitizens illegally registered to vote.

Right now, that effort has identified 207 people on voter rolls, out of more than 11 million, who may ineligible to vote.

The League's Executive Director Jessica Lowe-Minor says ineligible voters should not be allowed to vote, but Florida should focus more on getting people to register.

"There are thousands of eligible voters who have not yet been brought on to the rolls. People who have turned 18 since the last election, people who have moved to the state since the last election, people who have always been eligible but have never been registered. And we want to see those people brought on to the voter registration rolls and we really think that should be the state's primary focus at this time."

Gov. Scott stands by his effort to eliminate noncitizens from voter rolls.

"Oh gosh, we did exactly the right thing. Each Floridian I've talked to, I've not talked to one Floridian that says, 'I want my vote diluted by somebody who's never had a right to vote in our state.' Every vote matters. I don't want any Floridian that has a right to vote, I don't want their vote diluted. If you have a right to vote in our state, go register to vote. Go out and talk to candidates. Vet candidates. Get involved in campaigns and go vote. But if you don't you should not be voting in our state."

Meantime, the League of Women Voters is conducting voter registration drives and has launched a new website that helps people register to vote. It's at www.bereadytovote.org.

Or call the League's Voter Assistance Hotline at 1-855-FLVOTER for any election-related questions.

The deadline for registering to vote in the presidential election is Tuesday, October 9.

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