Florida finally gains access to federal data for voter registration cleanup

The Miami Herald portrays this as a ???victory for Republicans,??? but it???s really a bipartisan victory for everyone who wants clean elections in the United States: the Department of Homeland Security abruptly reversed its long-standing, arguably illegal policy and allowed the state of Florida to use its Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) database, as part of Florida???s effort to purge illegal aliens from the voting rolls.

This is huge news.  Florida requested access to the SAVE data from the very beginning of its effort to clean up voter registration.  Homeland Security illegally denied this request, even though such access is guaranteed by federal law.  Florida had to make do with in-state databases that everyone knew were considerably less up-to-date.  Use of this data, combined with time wasted on requests to DHS, caused the registration cleanup to take much longer than originally anticipated.  This, in turn, brought Florida???s effort within a 90-day window established by the National Voter Registration Act, during which voters cannot be removed from the rolls.

The Justice Department sued to block Florida???s effort on these grounds, but a federal judge threw out the suit, in part because the people removed from Florida???s voter registration never had any business being there in the first place.  Florida, in turn, sued the federal government for refusing to hand over that SAVE data??? and now DHS suddenly, without comment, has decided to hand over what it should have given Florida a year ago.

The Obama Administration could not look more foolish, and the Justice Department could not look more highly politicized.  Meanwhile, the administration of Florida???s Republican governor Rick Scott, has been completely vindicated.

Florida???s efforts had been generally suspended while these court challenges played out, but it looks as if the program will now resume.  Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner sent a letter to county election supervisors, hailing access to the SAVE data as ???a significant step towards ensuring ineligible voters cannot cast a ballot and dilute the ballot of eligible voters.???  Florida already found over 100 illegal aliens who were registered to vote, half of whom cast illegal ballots in previous elections ??? even though their list of questionable names was winnowed down to a mere 2600 people before a single letter of challenge was issued, and some counties refused to send any letters at all.

The count of legitimate voters ???disenfranchised??? by the state of Florida stands at zero.