Friday, June 01, 2012

FLORIDA. How is this accepted any longer?

FLORIDA. So many issues arise there. But it is in the matter of elections that is of particular importance for us to be informed, and talking. Worse, for us, is the media's relative silence. As most of us are not wonks and news junkies, so many of these key events are unknown, and in the shadows. That is a fault I'll lay on the media. But as they fail as promised, it is up to us to be heard amongst out friends and family.

In electoral events of the last 3 presidential bids it has had serious question arise. And know under Rick Scott, we see things only worsening. While shadiness falls over every election, if you look hard enough, Florida seems to take a special pride, with it's particular mix of different politics, races, cultures, and generations, in being a bur in the side of the process.

So what is happening under Rick Scott.

Think Progress has been chronicling the injustice.

How Governor Rick Scott Is Preventing Eligible U.S. Citizens From Voting In Florida

The Miami Herald reports that “Florida’s quest to identify and remove non-U.S. citizens from the voter rolls was started at the direct urging of Gov. Rick Scott.” Scott instructed his former Secretary of State, Kurt Browning, to compile a list of people who were registered in Florida but ineligible to vote. 

Browning struggled to aquire accurate data and eventually resigned his post in February. Scott moved forward with the effort anyway, and in recent days “the state sent a list to county election supervisors of more than 2,600 people who have been identified as non-U.S. citizens.”   
According to election supervisors, the list is riddled with inaccuracies. Seminole County Supervisor of Elections Mike Ertel, a Republican, posted a picture on Twitter earlier this week of a voter on the list falsely identified as ineligible... 
A study by the non-partisan Brennan Center for Justice found that actual voter fraud is practically non-existent. According to the study, most cases of alleged voter fraud can be traced back to clerical or administrative errors. 

NEW DATA: Elections Supervisors Throughout Florida Confirm U.S. Citizens Improperly Included In Voter Purge

When Gov. Rick Scott’s (R-FL) administration distributed its controversial lists of possible non-citizen voters last month, state statute required the state’s 67 county supervisors of elections to send out letters requiring those voters to prove their eligibility to vote within 30 days — a window that will end in the next couple of weeks in many counties. But a ThinkProgress survey of several county supervisors in Florida reveals that the lists of presumed non-eligible voters is riddled with errors. In large and small jurisdictions across the state, supervisors have found that a large number of the voters on the list are indeed eligible voters. 

Meet Bill: The 91-Year-Old Decorated WWII Veteran Targeted By Florida Governor Rick Scott’s Voter Purge

Bill Internicola is a 91-year-old, Brooklyn-born, World War II veteran. He fought in the Battle of the Bulge and received the Bronze Star for bravery. He’s voted in Florida for 14 years and never had a problem. 

Meet Maureen Russo: An Eligible Florida Voter Governor Rick Scott Just Purged From The Voting Rolls

Maureen Russo was born in Akron, Ohio. For the last 40 years she’s operated a dog boarding and grooming business — Bobbi’s World Kennels — with her husband in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Maureen is 60 years old and has been a registered voter in the state for the last four decades. She regularly votes at the church around the corner from her home. 

Florida GOP Chair Compares Disenfranchising Voters to Stopping Drunk Drivers

Yesterday, Florida GOP Chair Lenny Curryreleased a statement defending Gov. Rick Scott’s (R-FL) plan to purge tens of thousands of voters from Florida’s voter roles. The purge is based on an error riddled list of purportedly ineligible voters which includes hundreds of eligible U.S. citizens in just one county. According to Curry, purging voters is just like a DUI checkpoint ...

But some action is coming, as the Department of Justice demands some answers.
TPM has the story: “The Justice Department sent a letter to Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner Thursday evening demanding the state cease purging its voting rolls because the process it is using has not been cleared under the Voting Rights Act, TPM has learned. DOJ also said that Florida’s voter roll purge violated the National Voter Registration Act,  ...

Also, a federal judge has ruled on this (Thanks to the hard work from BRAD BLOG):

As I'm on the road and largely off the grid this week, I was about to post the following video from last night'sRachel Maddow Show, thanking her for covering so much of what we've been covering here at The BRAD BLOG, for so long, in one nice long top-of-show segment. 
I'm still going to do that, but below that, I'm happy to post a press release just sent out by the non-partisan Brennan Center for Justice at NYU, breaking the news that a federal judge has just blocked the "key provisions of a restrictive voting law in Florida today." The Brennan Center describes the ruling as "a breakthrough victory for Florida voters and voting rights advocates nationwide." 

But the media needs to start asking questions and start talking more about examples like this around the country, because it is happening around the country. And until, or if, the media gets involved. It falls on us to speak up.

Get informed, get involved.

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