Feds Allow Florida Access to Data to Prevent Voter Fraud

Helen Whalen Cohen

7/14/2012 2:44:00 PM - Helen Whalen Cohen

Earlier this year, the Obama Administration attempted to block Florida Governor Rick Scott's efforts to purge ineligible voters from Florida voter rolls. A review of drivers license data turned up 2,625 suspected ineligible voters. But the DOJ tried to stop the state from acting on this information.

Nearly two months later, and after getting smacked down by a judge, the Obama Administration is being ordered to help Florida clean up state voter rolls. This past week, the Department of Homeland Security agreed to let Florida access a law enforcement database to prevent non-citizens from voting.

The agreement, made in a letter to Florida Gov. Rick Scott's administration that was obtained by The Associated Press, grants the state access to a list of resident noncitizens maintained by the Department of Homeland Security. The Obama administration had denied Florida's request for months, but relented after a judge ruled in the state's favor in a related voter-purge matter.

It's not perfect. SAVE, or the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements can only identify people with an 'alien number', such as a green card holder or someone who has a work visa-in other words, people who are here legally but cannot vote. Those who are here illegally still slip under the radar. Still, Governor Scott told the AP that this is a "significant victory for Florida and for the integrity of our election system". 

Officials in othe states such as Colorado are also seeking access to the SAVE database. Colorado's secretary of state, Scott Gessler says he wants to check the status of 5,000 registered voters.