Only citizens (who have not committed a felony) should be allowed to vote in elections, right? Sounds pretty cut and dry, right? Well, not for former Governor Charlie Crist.
Unfortunately, voter fraud of all types exists in every state in the nation. Felons voting, dead people voting, people voting in two OR more places…. it’s enough to make the average legal voter wonder if his/her vote really counts.
So, just about every state has passed or proposed laws to reduce and/or stop voter fraud. Florida’s attempt, supported by Governor Rick Scott, to remove non-citizens from the voter rolls has become very heated, including dueling lawsuits, with officials refusing to carry out directives from the secretary of state. The Governor is in a HUGE battle with the U.S. Justice Department over Florida right to remove non-U.S. citizens from voters lists before November. The Department of Justice is suing the state over the purge. Florida is suing the Department of Homeland Security.
As the Miami Herald reported, Governor Scott became interested in the number of non-citizen voters after his election in 2010. Florida asked to use he Department of Homeland Security‘s Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) database, but federal officials said “n0,” and election officials just wanted to use Driver License info to determine citizenship. But, then they stopped because their data was not consistent. The issue kind of took a back burner until a news story about non-citizens who vote and gave election officials a list of over 100 names. The state then started investigating under the current Secretary of State, Ken Detzner and two months ago asked county supervisors of elections to review a list of 2700 possible non-citizens registered to vote. The list had been reduced from an original list of 180,000+. They asked county officials to contact the registered voters on the list and require proof of citizenship or be removed from the voters files. Well, the battle rages on. But, why? We just need honest elections.
Sounds reasonable, right? Senator Marco Rubio thought so. He said “How could anyone argue against a state identifying people who are not rightfully on the voter rolls and removing them from the voter rolls?”
Election officials in most counties simply stopped moving to enforce the purge, saying they didn’t trust the state government’s list. (Two counties in southwest Florida have continued with the effort.) Over 500 of the 2,700 had been identified as citizens; 40 had been identified as non-citizens.
“Out of 11 or 12 million voters, that’s a very small number,” said Ron Labasky, an attorney for the Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections. “They shouldn’t be on there, but it’s very, very limited,” at least at this point. Still the Dept. of Justice ordered Florida to stop the purge in May. A civil rights lawyer that is violated National Voter Registration Act. And the legal battles rage on.
Now, former Republican Governor Charlie Crist (turned Independent) who is rumored to be changing to Democrat to run for Governor again (Against current Governor Rick Scott), has chimed in opposing the purge. He declared in an interview with MSNBC that efforts to remove voters from the roles for possible ineligibility was “unconscionable.” Really, Mr. Crist?
Crist noted the Scott administration also reversed a move that Crist championed to automatically restore the voting rights of former felons. “In Florida, we have a history of having some pretty close elections,” Crist said. “The idea of making it more difficult to exercise this precious right … is just unconscionable to me.” Then he went on to criticize Pennsylvania for requiring voters have driver’s license when they vote. “If you make it more difficult … you’re not doing democracy a favor, you’re impeding that process,” Crist said.
So, is Mr. Crist REALLY concerned about the voters or is he moving more and more toward the left and hoping that illegal voters (non-citizens and felons) will support him for fighting the state’s effort to prevent them from voting? In those close elections he refers to above, is he hoping that illegal votes will tip the scales in his favor if he runs as a Democrat or Independent?
Thoughts!? The answer seems pretty clear to me…