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Lawsuit Calls Fla. Voter Purge Discrimination

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Governor Rick Scott on June 12, 2012 in Miami.  The Governor is in a legal battle with the U.S. Justice Department over the state's effort to remove non-U.S. citizens from lists of registered voters ahead of this year's presidential election.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Governor Rick Scott on June 12, 2012 in Miami. The Governor is in a legal battle with the U.S. Justice Department over the state’s effort to remove non-U.S. citizens from lists of registered voters ahead of this year’s presidential election. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/AP) – The state of Florida is about to get sued again over its controversial push to remove potentially ineligible voters from the rolls.

Several groups that work with immigrants and Puerto Ricans are filing a lawsuit Tuesday in a Miami federal court. They contend the purge violates federal law because it is within 90 days of an election and because the effort largely affects Hispanics.

This is now the fourth lawsuit surrounding the move initiated by Gov. Rick Scott.

The U.S. Department of Justice has already filed a lawsuit to block the purge, while the Scott administration has sued the federal government to gain access to a federal immigration database in order to check the citizenship status of voters.

Gov. Scott has defended the purge and pushed back criticism that he was conducting it for political purposes.

Critics have said Scott’s efforts are part of a larger campaign by Republicans to suppress voter turnout among minority groups that favor Democrats.

“First off it’s not a purge,” Scott told CBS4’s Jim DeFede. “You know what I’m surprised about. I have not met one person, Republican, Democrat, and Independent that thinks non-citizens should vote in our races.”

Out of 11.3 million registered voters only 140 non citizens have been uncovered. And recent reports some of those being thrown off the voter rolls may actually be U.S. citizens after all.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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