TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami) – After winning access to a U.S. Department of Homeland Security database of non-citizens living in Florida, Gov. Rick Scott said he sees no reason why the state’s 67 elections supervisors shouldn’t return to removing ineligible voters from the rolls.
But the supervisors, many of whom have resisted the purge, say they’re not ready to trust the new lists without reviewing them first, especially with less than four months remaining until the November election.
The state appeared to win a months-long struggle with the federal government Saturday over use of the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements, or SAVE, database. Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner quickly sent a letter Saturday to elections supervisors, suggesting that the SAVE material would allow the purge to resume.
“You know, it’s very reliable data, so I can’t imagine they’re not going to go forward and make sure,” Scott told CNN Monday.
Vicki Davis, president of the Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections and the supervisor in Martin County, said the association’s executive committee is meeting Tuesday to map out its strategy. And in speaking to Detzner, Davis said, she came away with the understanding that the data might not be available until after the statewide primary on Aug. 14.
“It’s going to take time to finalize the process,” she said.
Voting rights groups are also worried about the timing.
They say purging the rolls so soon before a presidential election could disenfranchise voters – to the advantage of GOP candidates.