The U.S. Department of Justice has ordered Florida to stop its efforts to purge voters from their voting rolls. The attempts to stop people in Florida from voting is illegal, since it violates multiple federal laws.
“In Florida, where a few hundred votes can determine a presidential election, Republicans have never stopped searching for new ways to keep ballots out of the hands of minorities and poor people, groups that tend to vote Democratic. They have cut back on early voting, tried to stamp out registration drives, and imposed onerous identification requirements,” according to the New York Times.
Now Florida is responsible for violating federal laws with voter purge efforts. The removal of voters less than 90 days before an election is illegal. August primaries fall within that deadline. The second violation comes from Gov. Scott’s omission to get approval for the list he is using, to make sure it is not discriminatory in nature. Since approximately 60 percent of the names on Scott’s purge list are Hispanics, there is evidence to suggest that specific groups are being singled-out for voting purge.
The first round of letters sent out to registered voters contained hundreds of errors. Citizens who were told they had 30 days to prove they were eligible to vote were in fact, U.S. citizens being wrongly removed from voting rolls.
Some of the efforts to stop the voter purge is coming from inside Florida, from local election supervisors.
"It's illegal under federal law and I'm going to follow the law," said Leon County Supervisor of Elections, Ion Sancho.
Since local election officials knew the voter purge was illegal, it raises questions as to how Gov. Scott could claim that he was also not aware of Florida’s illegal efforts.
Florida has a poor history of protecting voting rights under Republican Governors. In 2000, former Republican Gov. suspected of voter roll tampering, in order to help his brother, , win the presidential race. After thousands of people were either blocked from voting or had their votes discounted, the governor’s brother won the state and the White House by approximately 600 votes.was
According to many electoral college projections, Republican candidatecannot reach the required number of electoral votes to win the 2012 presidential election without winning the 29 at stake in Florida. It takes 270 electoral votes to win the presidency.
The voter roll purge in Florida appears to some to be an attempt by Republicans to steal the election through illegal and unethical means. The positions of Republican candidates and ideology of the Republican Party is not popular enough to win an election without tampering with votes.
Claims of voter fraud have been used by Republican legislatures to change voting rights laws in more than 30 states over the past 2 years. However, there is no evidence to suggest that voter fraud is a problem.
“You have a better chance of being hit by lightning than discovering an incident of polling place fraud,” according to US News.
The Brennan Center cited a study conducted under the George W. Bush Administration. “Because voter fraud is essentially irrational, it is not surprising that no credible evidence suggests a voter fraud epidemic."
"There is no documented wave or trend of individuals voting multiple times, voting as someone else, or voting despite knowing that they are ineligible. Indeed, evidence from the microscopically scrutinized 2004 gubernatorial election in Washington State actually reveals just the opposite: though voter fraud does happen, it happens approximately 0.0009% of the time. The similarly closely-analyzed 2004 election in Ohio revealed a voter fraud rate of 0.00004%.”
Therefore, the argument of voter fraud appears to be an unsubstantiated creation of the Republican Party, which is using it as an excuse to cheat, because they lack confidence in their abilities to win an election by playing fair and letting all eligible Americans vote.
Florida Governor Rick Scott is no stranger to criminal activity.
In 1997, whistleblowers said Scott was "lying when he says he did not know about fraud in his former company, the Columbia/HCA hospital chain. In July 1997, FBI agents raided Columbia/HCA accounting offices in seven states, including Florida. Within days, Columbia’s board of directors ousted Scott."
Scott paid millions in Medicare fraud fines, and was still elected governor of Florida in 2010.