Federal judge rejects Justice Department challenge to Florida voter purge
Great news for those who desire fair and honest elections: the Orlando Sentinel reports that U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle has “rejected a request from the Obama Administration to put an immediate stop to [Florida’s] non-citizen voter purge program.”
The program in question involved 2600 challenge letters sent out to suspected illegitimate voters, whose registration information did not match up with other databases available to the state. Over 100 illegitimate voters have already been discovered, with at least 50 of them having committed the felony offense of voting illegally in previous elections.
Not all of the responses are in yet, since recipients of these letters were given 90 days to reply, plus another 90 days after that during which the state would make further efforts to get in touch with them, if no reply was received by the original deadline. Also, some Florida counties suspended operations at their discretion after the legality of the purge was challenged.
Judge Hinkle was not an unreserved supporter of the Florida program, but he rejected the legal basis for the DOJ challenge. The National Voter Registration Act specifies a 90-day “safe window” before elections, in which voter registration cannot be changed by the state, but Hinkle found that this provision “did not apply to removing non-citizens from the rolls.”
He went on to say that “Determining citizenship is not as easy as the state would have it. Questioning someone’s citizenship isn’t as trivial as the state would have it.” Of course, the state of Florida was perfectly aware of that, which is why they attempted to gain access to the far more accurate data maintained by the Department of Homeland Security, only to be illegally refused by the Obama Administration. That’s one of the reasons it took so long to winnow the original list of 180,000 questionable voters down to the 2,600 letters of challenge that were actually sent. Florida’s lawsuit against the DHS over this refusal is still pending.