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Best Persons

Florida Governor Rick Scott hasn't taken time out of his busy schedule to directly respond to the Justice Department's demand that he cease purging voters, but local election supervisors are complying with the DOJ's demand and refusing to follow Scott's orders.

Florida elections supervisors said Friday they will discontinue a state-directed effort to remove names from county voter rolls because they believe the state data is flawed and because the U.S. Department of Justice has said the process violates federal voting laws...

The Justice Department letter and mistakes that the 67 county elections supervisors have found in the state list make the scrub undoable, said Martin County Elections Supervisor Vicki Davis, president of the Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections…

Ron Labasky, the association’s general counsel, sent a memo to the 67 supervisors Friday telling them to stop processing the list.

A large number of the state's supervisors, who are now refusing to carry out Rick Scott's plans, are Republicans. Credit where its due.

  • D_C_Wilson

    Are the county election supervisors elected or appointed in Florida? It’ll be interesting to see if Governor Gollum tries to get many of them replaced with teabaggers before the end of summer.

    • ranger11

      They’re elected. A few years ago there was a little controversy with mine concerning an election result. She was re-elected. Florida certainly is interesting.

    • Victor_the_Crab

      I was thinking Governor Voldermont.

  • missliberties

    This is welcome news.

    Also encouraging to see Republicans with integrity to respect the vote.

  • Victor_the_Crab

    “A large number of the state’s supervisors, who are now refusing to carry out Rick Scott’s plans, are Republicans. Credit where its due.”

    Which means it’s only a matter of time before they’re blindfolded and hauled off to a secluded place where Roger Ailes, Karl Rove, and Rush Limbaugh can take turns beating and torturing each of them until they get with the GOP program.

  • muselet

    I do hate to link to HuffPo, but … take a gander at this:

    Despite a Justice Department letter, objections from county elections officials and evidence that a disproportionate number are voters of color, Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner’s office planned to continue scrubbing the election rolls, a spokesman said Friday. Gov. Rick Scott (R) ordered the search for potentially ineligible voters.

    “We have an obligation to make sure the voter rolls are accurate and we are going to continue forward and do everything that we can legally do to make sure than ineligible voters cannot vote,” said Chris Cate, a spokesman for Detzner. “We are firmly committed to doing the right thing and preventing ineligible voters from being able to cast a ballot. We are not going to give up our efforts to make sure the voter rolls are accurate.”

    It’ll be interesting to see how much pressure the county elections supervisors can withstand.


    • D_C_Wilson

      It’s going to go court before this is over. People aren’t going to let Florida repeat the debacle of 2000 when Brother Jeb and Kathleen Harris scrubbed the rolls just in time to help Dumbya.

      • muselet

        It probably will take a court case to make Florida obey the law(s). TPM:

        DOJ … said that Florida’s voter roll purge violated the National Voter Registration Act, which stipulates that voter roll maintenance should have ceased 90 days before an election, which given Florida’s August 14 primary, meant May 16.

        Five of Florida’s counties are subject to the Voting Rights Act, but the state never sought permission from either the Justice Department or a federal court to implement its voter roll maintenance program.

        While the courts deal with this mess, Florida will be making an even bigger mess by continuing the purge of its voter rolls. So that when a decision is made, Florida will claim there’s no way to restore the rolls to their pre-purge state; and of course Florida will appeal any ruling, both to run out the clock and to join the other neo-Confederate states in trying to get the Voting Rights Act overturned.

        It’s going to be a long five months.


  • David

    It’s encouraging to see that the partisan political divide isn’t so ubiquitous that everyone involved with politics abandons reason and law. That’s something to keep in mind for those of us on the left: Not all Republicans are as terrible as their leadership is.

  • Doran

    I’ll be very interested in who continues the purge after this. I bet there will be some. Let’s see what becomes of them.