Commentary: Holder to Florida — Stop Voter Purge
by Jim Kouri
On Friday, Attorney General Eric Holder and the U.S. Justice Department demanded that the State of Florida -- considered a vital electoral state -- to stop checking voter records in that state's probe of illegal voter registrations.
Meanwhile, in a letter to a top state official, T. Christian Herren Jr. of the Justice Department's Voting Section, said "the effort appeared to violate the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which protects minorities."
In the letter to Florida's Secretary of State Ken Detzner, who is in charge of elections, Herren claimed searching for illegal voters "seemed to violate the 1993 National Voter Registration Act" and its rules for maintaining "accurate and current" voter registration lists "in a uniform and non-discriminatory manner."
However, critics of Holder and his underlings at DOJ believe this is another scheme to allow illegal immigrants, convicted felons and out-of-state residents to vote in Florida which has been a battleground state that can determine a winner by a mere few hundred votes.
"Holder, Herren and their boss [President Barack] Obama have shown absolutely no proof of discrimination. If they're so worried about the integrity of voters' rights, why didn't they go after the New Black Panther Party who actually interfered with voters' rights?" asked political strategist Michael Baker.
"Supporters of Governor Rick Scott's so-called purge of illegal voters, have been open about the purpose of it: to clear voter rolls of non-citizens. But Democrats continue say the Republican are attempting to prevent minorities and the poor will most probably vote Democratic," Baker stated.
"While the Democrats and their [sic] crony organizations accuse Republicans freely and openly, rarely do you hear a Republican accuse Democrats of 'stuffing the ballot box' with illegal ballots. And yet, there is quite a bit of evidence of Democrat Party-affiliated groups involved in voter fraud. Did I hear the name ACORN?" quipped Baker.
The official demand from the Justice Department, that Florida end its search for potentially ineligible voters, came hours after the latest unemployment and job creation figures were released by the Department of Labor and commentators were lamenting the negative impact of the statistics on the Obama campaign, Baker claimed.
According to Florida's State Department, the voter records searchers are simply trying to match the state voter registration database with driver's license records.
Holder and the DOJ claim that such data may be out of date since many people become citizens after they get their driver's licenses or state ID cards and register to vote. Voter integrity advocates say there is little if any inconvenience to voters if such a scenario does occur.
According to Florida officials, investigators discovered close to 3,000 suspicious voters and notified them to produce proof of citizenship in order to avoid being removed from Florida's voter rolls.
Meanwhile, the news media have covered the story of voter fraud as a the Republicans' plot to stop so-called minority voters. For example, The Miami Herald stated on Friday: "Florida has what civil rights groups describe as a long history of voter roll tampering and manipulation. Most recently, in both 2000 and 2004, it tried purging convicted felons from the rolls using what were found to be inaccurate lists that kept ballots out of the hands of black voters who tend to vote Democratic."
"As a group, reporters can always be counted on to use a minimum amount of intelligence and common sense when covering such a story. The Justice Department is basing its actions and demands on 'suspicions' that are in themselves highly suspect," Mike Baker said.