According to data supplied to me today from Chris Cate, spokesperson for the Florida Secretary of State, between April 11, 2012 and June 14, 2012, 107 people have been removed from the state’s voter rolls on account of being a suspected noncitizen. As an aside, that’s roughly 0.00095536% of the 11.2 million people currently registered to vote in the Sunshine State.
Of those removed from the voter rolls for being suspected noncitizens, 86 were excised between April 11 and June 8; an additional 21 people were purged the following week.
Residents living in Lee County accounted for more than 41% (44/107) of those purged from the voter rolls. A recent story by Marc Caputo of the Miami Herald reported that Lee County (along with Collier County) apparently were “continuing with the program of purging potential noncitizens if they fail to respond to the counties’ requests to proof citizenship.”
What’s surprising, though, is the fact that the office of the Florida Secretary of State–in its flawed, and widely discredited effort to identify noncitizens–only provided the Lee County Supervisor of Elections, Sharon Harrington, the names of 13 potential noncitizens. That’s 13 names of potential noncitizens from the state’s pared-down list of 2,625 names that the Division of Elections sent to the state’s 67 local elections officials back in May.
According to my analysis of the data, of the 44 registered voters in Lee County that the state has removed from the voter file, only two were on the state’s list of 13 potential noncitizens.
So, how did Lee County officials determine on their own that 42 other individuals on the voter rolls were supposedly noncitzens? Did they have access to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s elusive SAVE database?
According to Caputo, Lee County’s SOE Harrington evidently decided to purge voters from her list after “a local television station compared the voter files with the names of people who got out of jury service by saying they were noncitizens.”
While I certainly don’t condone fibbing to get out of jury duty, it’s troubling that Lee County is apparently using statements made by individuals to avoid jury duty to establish whether or not they are U.S. citizens. It’s not uncommon for people to lie to avoid serving on a jury. And those who are caught doing so, face severe penalties.
But should they also be disenfranchised?