On June 8, two Florida voters and a voting rights group filed a lawsuit to stop a new attempt by the Florida Secretary of State to purge the voting rolls of certain voters. The case is Mi Familia Vota Education Fund v Detzner, middle district, 8:12-cv-1294. Here is the 16-page complaint.
The recent Florida Secretary of State’s directive requires county elections officials to compare the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles records with voter registration records. The purge is an attempt to identify registered voters who are not U.S. citizens.
The lawsuit says the problem with this is that some individuals who were not U.S. citizens when they first obtained a drivers license have since become U.S. citizens. But when such an individual becomes a citizen, there is no procedure by which the drivers license record is changed. One of the plaintiffs, Murat Limage, received his first Florida drivers license in 1999, when he was not yet a citizen. He became a citizen on October 19, 2010, and registered to vote for the first time on November 1, 2010. But he received a notice saying he “may not” be a citizen, and saying unless he proved that he is a citizen within 30 days, his name would be dropped from the rolls. He then presented his U.S. passport to the county elections office, where he was told that he need not take any further action, but that he would not be given anything writing establishing that he is properly registered. Without such a writing, he is afraid that when he attempts to vote, the record will still show that he is not a U.S. citizen.
The basis for the lawsuit is that the new Florida program was not pre-cleared by the Voting Rights Section. The lawsuit asks that a 3-judge court be convened. In the meantime, some county officials have said they will not comply with the Secretary of State’s directive. Thanks to Rick Hasen for the link.