Florida Gov. Rick Scott says that he’s “absolutely not” targeting minority voters in his purge. Apparently it’s just pure coincidence that 58 percent of the people on the list are Hispanic, despite the fact that they only make up about 13 percent of the state’s voting population. He also say that he’s not sure how the state will respond to the Department of Justice, which has ordered him to stop the purge.
But as the Miami Herald points out, the state’s response has been more or less pre-empted in a number of counties by elections supervisors who say they will stop the search for noncitizen voters. The counties have been advised by counsel for the Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections to hold off on the purge until they have better information than what they’ve received from the state. In a memo to them, he advised them to use “extreme caution” and that “removal should only take place if you are absolutely certain the person is inappropriately on the rolls.”
Plenty of the officials are heeding that advice, including many Republicans, according to Think Progress. The counties not complying with the state’s order are, so far, Palm Beach County Elections Supervisor Susan Bucher (D), Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Kathy Dent (R), Volusia County Supervisor of Elections Ann McFall (R), and Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Earl Lennard (R). Other county officials, including Pasco County’s Brian Corley (R), and Marin County’s Vicki Davis (R), president of the Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections, have expressed extreme frustration with the state. In an interview, Davis said that as far as she knows, “most of the counties” have decided not to purge any voters solely based on the list provided by the state.
Apprently Scott’s brazen plan to secure the 2012 vote for Mitt Romney was just a little too much for those county supervisors who take their official duty seriously. The Department of Justice action will presumably take care of stopping the purges in the remaining counties.