Justice Department Demands Florida Stop Purging Voter Rolls

The U.S. Justice Department’s Voting Section sent a letter to Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner demanding the state cease purging its voting rolls because the process it is using has not been cleared under the Voting Rights Act.

DOJ also said that Florida’s voter roll purge violated the National Voter Registration Act, which stipulates that voter roll maintenance should have ceased 90 days before an election, which given Florida’s August 14 primary, meant May 16.

Two weeks ago, Florida found 53,000 dead voters registered to vote.  Florida has also found non-citizens on the voter rolls and Secretary of State Detzner has started the process of removing them.

The Voting Section makes a dubious argument under Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act, a law the Obama administration has refused to enforce because of ideological opposition. The letter notes that Elise Shore is the attorney behind the letter.

What do we know about Elise Shore?

Ms. Shore came to the Voting Section by way of the “Southern Coalition for Social Justice,” where she worked as a legal consultant focusing on “voting rights, immigrant rights, and other civil rights and social justice issues.” The far left-wing positions of this group are nicely summarized on its website. Ms. Shore also made a $1,000 contribution to Barack Obama’s presidential campaign.

Before joining the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, she worked for more than two years as a Regional Counsel for MALDEF [Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund]. There, she was an outspoken critic of Georgia’s voter ID law and well as its proof of citizenship requirements for voter registration (which, incidentally, have been found to be non-discriminatory by a federal court) and described how heartened she was that the Civil Rights Division had objected to the registration law under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. But her joy must have been fleeting: the Division later capitulated and withdrew its objection after Georgia filed a federal declaratory judgment action. It will be interesting to see if Shore can put her politics to the side in her role as the Voting Section’s point of contact for all redistricting submissions in the state of Florida.

It looks like Ms. Shore wasn’t able to set aside MALDEF-style radicalism, even after she started working for the taxpayers of the United States. Sadly, this private radicalism has metastasized into radical open-borders public policy. Not only does the DOJ stop states from enforcing their laws pertaining to illegal immigration, the DOJ is forcing Florida to keep non-citizens on the voter rolls.

The Tenth Amendment simply states, The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.  Since the keeping of voter rolls and clearing them are not powers granted to the federal government, they are then powers that belong to the states.

Florida officials are indicating they may fight the DOJ and have expressed frustration that the Obama Administration has stonewalled the State’s noncitizen voter hunt for nine months. We have entered strange and dangerous times.


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