Big win in US Federal District Court!

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
TALLAHASSEE DIVISION
LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF
FLORIDA, INC., et al.,
Plaintiffs,
V. CASE NO. 4:18-CV-251-MW/CAS
KENNETH W. DETZNER, in his official
capacity as the Florida Secretary
of State,
Defendant.
__________________________/
ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFFS’ MOTION
FOR PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION

Order available here.

Have to laugh at the Florida Division of Elections’ Disclaimer in response to my Blog Post on 3PVROs

I guess I’m glad to see they’re covering their bases….

DISCLAIMER: The Florida Third Party Voter Registration (3PVRO) database is not intended, nor should it be used, as a source for Florida voter registration statistics. The 3PVRO database reflects the cumulative number of voter registration applications submitted by a 3PVRO to the state since the time of a 3PVRO’s registration. Please note that a voter application submitted by a political party does not necessarily translate directly into a voter registered for that party as all 3PVROs must collect and submit registrations regardless of party affiliation.

FDOE’s disclosure is new. It hasn’t been there any of the previous times I’ve grabbed the publicly available data from the Division’s website. Just wondering who might have directed Secretary of State Detzner to have his staff post the disclaimer after my blog post called out the RPOF’s pathetic voter registration efforts.  Any guesses, folks?

 

Call your office, Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner…

Update:

I’ve had a very productive conversation with the Florida Division of Elections regarding my earlier post, below.

Statutorily (Section 98.0981, F.S.), Florida counties are not required to compile and upload their complete voter history for the March 31, 2016 PPP until April 28, 2016. As such, the complete PPP individual-level voter histories that the counties provide to the FVRS will not be reflected until the April 30, 2016 statewide voter extract. Of course, most of the counties did voluntarily report their PPP data to the FVRS in time to be captured in the March 31, 2016 voter history file.  A handful of counties, though,  voluntarily uploaded only partial voter histories for the PPP, which I document below.

The month-long delay by some counties (even though permitted statutorily) in uploading their voter histories seems to be somewhat problematic.  It can lead to an asynchronized archiving of official voting state data.

For example, in counties where SOEs immediately report individuals’ vote histories in their counties, a contemporaneous snapshot of turnout is possible.  On the other hand, in counties where SOEs legally delay their reporting, it is possible that the vote histories of registered voters who turned out might be mis-assigned. If a registered voter who cast a ballot in one county in the PPP moves to another county and re-registers in that county, the PPP vote history that is uploaded to the FVRS by the voter’s previous county will appear to have been cast in the voter’s new county, not the actual county in which the PPP was cast.

I’ll have more to say on the issue later.

But I want to reemphasize that my post last night was intended to be a cautionary tale to those who utilize these data, not an indictment of the FDOS of the SOEs or Secretary Detzner.

————————–

There are some problems with the March 31, 2016 statewide Voter History File not syncing with the official vote totals. Nothing serious, I hope. But nothing new, either…

I was going to start cranking out a simple analysis of who turned out to vote in the March 15, 2016 Presidential Preference Primary, but it looks like some county Supervisors of Elections did not successfully upload their official results, which were due to the Division no later than noon on Sunday, March 27, 2016.

According to an announcement issued by the Florida Division of Elections, voter turnout in the 2016 Presidential Preference Primary (as of 3/27/2016) was 46.23%.  The Division reports that 4,089,516 votes were cast (out of the total number of active registered Republicans and Democrats (8,845,892) as of the registration deadline).

This official vote is slightly different from the FDOE’s “2016 Presidential Preference Primary March 15, 2016, Official Election Results” website, which reports that the total votes cast was 4,164,001.  There’s no explanation from FDOE why the totals are not the same, but I can certainly understand why they may differ. Really, why quibble over a couple (OK, several) thousand votes cast in Florida?

What is more disconcerting, however, is that these two totals are far greater than what is recorded in the March 31, 2016 Voter History File.  The Voter History File reports the method of voting of all those who who cast ballots in the election.  A quick sum finds only 3,408,945 ballots appear to have been cast by individual voters.

What accounts for the 755,056 missing from in Voter History File (if we compare it to the “Official Election Results” website)?

A quick analysis reveals that several counties have not properly uploaded their individual vote histories to the statewide Florida Voter History File, maintained by the Bureau of Voter Registration Services (BVRS).

Here’s a quick and dirty scatter-plot of the total votes cast in the PPP 2016, with the Voter History File on Y-Axis and the “Official Election Results” on the X-Axis.

2016PPP

As is pretty clear, 7 counties have failed to synchronize their own individual-level records with the BVRS’s statewide Voter History File: Collier, Sarasota, Polk, Brevard, Hillsborough, Palm Beach, and Broward.The discrepancies are not small.  Brevard, Broward, Hillsborough,  and Polk counties report precisely zero (0) votes were cast on Election Day. Other counties, too, failed to sync their own records with the BVRS’s Vote History File, but they’re too small to see on the scatter-plot. These additional counties with zero (0) votes cast include Desoto, Franklin, Glades, Hardee, Hernando, Highlands, Layfayette, and Taylor. Other counties, too, have obvious problems: Collier reports one (1) Election Day vote was cast; Palm Beach reports 126 votes were cast on Election Day; Sarasota, 48 cast on Election Day.

Clearly, there’s a syncing issue with these counties.

Data uploaded by the counties and synced with the BVRS database by many other counties looks pretty clean. In Miami-Dade County, for example, the totals only differ by 5,674 votes (compared to the 134,045 missing individual-level votes in neighboring Broward). Orange county’s total is only off by 2,338 votes cast. Hamilton County’s total votes cast are spot-on: 2,451 and 2,451. Pasco County, whose SOE Brian Corley heads the Florida Association of Supervisors of Elections (FSASE), recorded 103,987 votes cast in the Voter History File, and 103,722 on the Official Election Results webpage, a difference of only 265 votes cast.

To be sure, this is not the first time I’ve discovered these kinds of discrepancies with the official vote tally and what is reported in the BVRS’s voter files.  For an article (see footnote 8) on early voting patterns in Florida that I wrote with Michael Herron (as well as several other articles), we found major discrepancies in the December 31, 2012 Vote History File. After discussing the issue with the counties that had syncing problems, it was finally corrected in the March 31, 2013 file.

I’m sure FDOE and the county SOEs will get to the bottom of this in due time. But until then, data-hounds should be very weary about using the statewide Vote History File for any analyses.

Which is good, as this data-hound has some papers to revise and final papers to grade!

You Want Numbers? Florida Secretary of State Voter Purge Netted 10 “Potential Noncitizens” who may have Voted

That’s right.

10

Out of 11.2 million or so voters on the official statewide rolls as of April 1, 2012.

Here’s some quick analysis…

Approximately 0.000088496% of the current statewide voter roll may have voted illegally once (or perhaps more) over the past decade or so.

The percentage is even less when you consider the tens of MILLIONS of votes cast in local and statewide elections in Florida since 2006.

Notwithstanding the hundreds of Florida citizens who have been falsely accused by the Florida Secretary of State as being “potential noncitizens” who are supposedly corrupting the integrity of our voting system, it’s great to see that Governor Scott has exposed the myth of voter fraud in Florida.

Or not.

You see, the Florida Division of Elections, in its ill-advised and likely illegal effort to purge the voter rolls of what it claims are “potential noncitizens,” originally identified some 182,000 individuals who fit the bill.

Well, not confident in its list, the (new) Secretary of State, Ken Detzner (you see, the previous SOS, Kurt Browning, who was no angel himself when it came to protecting the right of Florida citizens to vote, resigned when he didn’t have enough confidence in the purge list his office originally generated, but that Governor Scott wanted him to pursue), pared it down to some 25,000 names, and then, finally, to 2,625 names, which his office then shipped off to the 67 Supervisors of Elections to do his dirty work.

Some of the SOEs balked, understandably.

But after the purging was done by the independently elected Supervisors of Elections, Governor Scott proudly defended the Secretary of State’s effort, saying to NPR, “We found that nearly 100 individuals that are non-U.S. citizens are registered to vote and over 50 have voted in prior elections.”

Now, the facts.

First, as I’ve documented elsewhere on these pages, no evidence has been provided by the Secretary of State that the 107 “potential noncitizens” it touted as being removed from its list were indeed noncitizens.

Second, also as I’ve documented here, a majority of the 107 individuals who were removed from the voter rolls were not even on the Florida Secretary of State’s purge list of 2,625 “potential noncitizens” that it sent to the Supervisors of Elections. Only 41 of the 107 names were on the SOS’s purge list of “potential noncitizens.”

As for those 41 (out of 2,625) individuals who the SOS identified as “potential noncitizens” and who the SOEs removed from the rolls (presumably after the SOEs–who do the actual purging–received proof), I have crunched the numbers, and identifying exactly 10 who may have cast a ballot.

Here’s the breakdown of the epidemic of alleged “noncitizens” voting, with the county and the last date of the election in which someone using that “potential noncitizen’s” name cast a ballot.

DAD 11/7/2006
HIL 11/7/2006
DAD 11/4/2008
LEE 11/4/2008
PAS 11/4/2008
OKA 11/2/2010
DAD 6/28/2011
ALA PRE-2006
BRO PRE-2006
DAD PRE-2006

Really? That’s it? We should have confidence in the Secretary of State’s new effort to purge Florida voters by matching data from the federal Department of Homeland Security with its own admittedly “obsolete” data?

Frankly, I’d rather trust casting a legitimate vote in Senegal.

EXCLUSIVE: Was Peter Schorsch (aka @SaintPetersBlog) Purged by the Florida Secretary of State?

No.

But the Florida Secretary of State has claimed that 9 out of the 107 individuals purged from the voter rolls for allegedly being “potential noncitizens” are from Pinellas, Peter’s beloved county on the sandy shores of the Gulf of Mexico.

Funny thing is, though, of the 37 “potential noncitizens” the Division of Elections flagged from Pinellas in its systematic effort in April to cleanse the voter list, only one was removed by the Pinellas Supervisor of Elections, Deborah Clark, after she reviewed the state’s shoddy work. The other 36 individuals wrongly fingered by Secretary of State Ken Detzner in his unwarranted purge are indeed citizens and are eligible to vote.

Whoops.

Oh, and as if this comes as a shock: 59.5% of those wrongly accused by the Secretary of State who are living in Pinellas County are minorities. And only 1/5 were Republicans.

(You can ask Peter what percentage of registered voters in Pinellas are minorities and Republicans).

But cut the Secretary of State and his crack staff some flack.

His list of 37 “potential noncitizens” residing in Pinellas County was accurate 2.7% of the time.  (Actually, the Division of Elections ill-advised and likely illegal purge has the fingermarks of an individual who evidently is no longer working in the office. Perhaps more on that later…).

The one “potential noncitizen” snagged in the Governor’s expansive and faulty dragnet–a Hispanic man in his 50s, living in St. Petersburg, who registered to vote in 2001 as a Republican(!)–has never cast a ballot in Florida.

Oh well.

The other 8 “potential noncitizens” removed from the voter rolls in Pinellas County–and celebrated by Governor Scott that his purge is working–were in fact identified by and removed from the list by Supervisor Clark.

Of those 8 individuals removed from the county’s list of voters by the SOE, exactly zero are the April 1, 2012 state voter file. That’s a big fat zero. They are not on the state’s list of registered voters, and thus we don’t know anything about them–their party, their race/ethnicity, their age, their past voting history (if any) and most importantly, whether or not they were citizens and eligible to vote.

Seems par for the course.

As I’ve written before, of the 11.2 million registered voters in the state of Florida, the Florida Secretary of State identified 2,625 “potential noncitizens,” and 41 have been removed from the rolls.  And of the 2,625 “potential noncitizens” identified by Governor Scott’s henchmen, there is evidence that perhaps 7 have ever cast a ballot.  It remains unclear, however, as to whether or not they were noncitizens (at the time) and thus ineligible to exercise their franchise.

As I’ve said before, Governor Scott’s Voter Purge must come to a complete halt.