Judge Says No to Blocking Voter Purge
On Wednesday, a judge rejected a federal authority’s request to block the Florida move to purge potential ineligible voters from the voting rolls. Robert Hinkle a U.S. District Judge said federal voting laws did not contain anything that prevents a state from indentifying voters who might not be citizens of the U.S., even if the upcoming elections are near.
The U.S. Justice Department filed suit earlier in June to halt the voter purge, saying it was too close to a federal election. Officials from the federal government also said that Florida was using a list that had critical imperfections, which could lead to errors that could confuse and harm voters.
Judge Hinkle said that federal laws were intended to block states from purging eligible voters when an election is close to being held. He said the laws were not designed to block voters who never should have been allowed to vote to begin with.
He said that questioning someone about their citizenship is a delicate issue, but noncitizens are not allowed to vote. The Judge said people must know an honest election is being held. The governor of Florida, Rick Scott, who was the first to initiate the purge, praised the court’s decision.
Scott said a common sense decision was made by the court consistent with what he has said, irreparable harm will happen if noncitizens have the ability to vote. Officials from Florida have already asked supervisors of local elections to check the citizenship status of over 2,600 voters. In addition, a list of more than 182,000 voters has not been distributed.