The Miami Herald reports that the Justice Department has ordered Florida to stop sorting through it’s voter registration rolls for non-citizens, who are not legally allowed to vote.
According to the Herald:
Florida’s effort appears to violate both the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which protects minorities, and the 1993 National Voter Registration Act – which governs voter purges – T. Christian Herren Jr., the Justice Department’s lead civil rights lawyer, wrote in a detailed two-page letter sent late Thursday night.
The Justice Department is concerned that a disproportionate number of Hispanics and other minorities were flagged as potential non-citizens. Because Hispanics only make up 13 percent on Florida’s active voters, yet Hispanics made up 58 percent of the list of flagged voters, the Justice Department feels Florida is unfairly targeting Hispanics.
Florida has asked the Department of Homeland Security for help identifying non-citizens, as DHS maintains its own citizenship data, but it has not yet responded.
The state now has until next Wednesday to determine whether it will proceed with scouring it’s voter rolls for illegal immigrants or abide by the Justice Department’s warning.
The Justice Department’s letter came on the same day that a federal court struck down a Florida law that would have required groups running voter registration drives to turn in forms within 48 hours or pay a $1,000 fine. The Justice Department’s actions in Florida are the agency’s latest attempt to thwart Republicans led states’ efforts to crack down on voter fraud in the United States.
Recently, Florida’s Secretary of State’s office found and purged 53,000 dead voters from its database. Checking the list for non-citizens ahead of the 2012 presidential election is a logical next step, considering the make-or-break role Florida will likely play in the Presidential election.
Why the Justice Department would want to stop Florida – or any state – from attempting to uphold the Constitution by trying to stop non-Americans from voting in American election is a serious scenario to consider.