MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Florida is facing off with the federal government over its controversial voter purge.
In a letter dated June 11th, the Assistant Attorney General asks Florida’s Secretary of state to “cease the unlawful conduct” of purging ineligible voters from the rolls.
But Governor Rick Scott is not backing down. Instead, Florida is suing the Department of Homeland Security to gain access to a federal database that could help the state zero in on non-citizens on the voting lists.
In a statement, Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner said “We can’t let the federal government delay our efforts to uphold the integrity of Florida elections any longer.”
It wasn’t long before the feds fired back Monday.
The Department of Justice has filed its own suit against Florida in an effort to block the voter purge efforts.
In a five-page letter, Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez asks the state to “please immediately cease this unlawful conduct.” He added, “your program has critical imperfections, which lead to errors that harm and confuse eligible voters.”
He cited a provision in the National Voter Registration Act that prohibits purging voters within 90 days of an election.
South Florida election law attorney Ben Keuhne takes issue with the timing, too.
“The state of Florida should never, never have begun a voter purge this close to such an important election,” Keuhne said. The primary election is set for August 14th.
Keuhne says the best way to make sure the ongoing litigation doesn’t impact your experience at the polls is to vote early.
“Election law should be embraced by everyone,” Keuhne said. “Election laws are not Democrat, they’re not Republican, they’re not conservative, they’re not liberal. They’re everybody.”