Gov. Rick Scott’s administration has responded to the Department of Justice’s demand that they halt the very flawed process of purging voters with a resounding fuck off, telling the Justice Department that they—Justice attorneys—don’t understand the law they are charged with protecting, and that it’s all the federal government’s fault anyway. That was entirely expected, as Scott is committed along with fellow Republican governors in states with long histories of voter discrimination to taking the Voting Rights Act to the Supreme Court in hopes that it will be struck down.
What wasn’t entirely expected, and has been pleasant surprise, is the fact that Florida’s election officials aren’t willing to go along with it this time. Over the past few weeks more and more of the county supervisors who conduct the state’s elections have publicly spoken about their discomfort with the purge and, in some cases, their decision to stop taking the vote away from their own constituents. Now it’s unanimous opposition.
The 67 county elections supervisors—who have final say over voter purges—are not moving forward with the purge for now because nearly all of them don’t trust the accuracy of a list of nearly 2,700 potential noncitizens identified by the state’s elections office.The U.S. Department of Justice has ordered the state to stop the purge.
“We’re just not going to do this,” said Leon County’s elections supervisor, Ion Sancho, one of the most outspoken of his peers. “I’ve talked to many of the other supervisors and they agree. The list is bad. And this is illegal.”
That’s tremendous news, in part attributable to the fact that these officials are elected themselves. It’s their own voters they might have been kicking off the rolls, and that’s not a very popular place to be.
So the purge won’t go forward, but Scott won’t back down from his insistence that he’s above the law. And he probably won’t give up on making sure that likely Democratic voters are kept out of the polls in November. Because that’s what this fight is all about. It has absolutely nothing to do with fraud and absolutely everything to do with stealing this election for Mitt Romney.