Wednesday, Florida Governor Rick Scott announced he would defy the Department of Justice and push forward with his purge of thousands of registered voters. The process has targeted hundreds of fully eligible U.S. voters.
Scott and other prominent Republicans in Florida argue that the Justice Department’s actions were motivated by partisanship. Rep. Tom Rooney (R-FL), for example, directly accused Attorney General Eric Holder of “working to enable voter fraud” to get Obama elected.
But Scott’s battle with the Department of Justice may end up being more symbolic than substantive. Why? All of Florida’s county election supervisors, who are ultimately responsible for maintaining the voter rolls, refuse the execute the purge. Florida’s 67 local election supervisors include 30 Republicans.
More from the Miami Herald:
Florida’s noncitizen voter purge looks like it’s all but over.
The 67 county elections supervisors — who have final say over voter purges —are not moving forward with the purge for now because nearly all of them don’t trust the accuracy of a list of nearly 2,700 potential noncitizens identified by the state’s elections office.The U.S. Department of Justice has ordered the state to stop the purge.
“We’re just not going to do this,” said Leon County’s elections supervisor, Ion Sancho, one of the most outspoken of his peers. “I’ve talked to many of the other supervisors and they agree. The list is bad. And this is illegal.”
Yesterday, ThinkProgress spoke with the Republican election supervisor of Pinellas County, Deborah Clark, who echoed Sancho’s concerns. “We will not use unreliable data,” Clark told ThinkProgress.
The reality is, Rick Scott’s voter purge is dead (for now) — not because of partisan action by the Obama administration — but because he has failed to convince members of his own party that the purge is justified or legal.