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The Fight for Voter Integrity in Florida

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
The eyes of the nation are watching and waiting to see how the infamous George Zimmerman—Trayvon Martin “Stand Your Ground” case will play out in the courts. But hold on, this is not the only example of where Florida is in the “stand your ground” business.

For months, Florida Governor Rick Scott and his Elections Division have been attempting to purge non-citizen voters from the rolls. They have been unsuccessful in persuading Homeland Security to turn over their database code-named SAVE (Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements). This is the most reliable list of individuals who are not entitled to vote in Florida based on their lack of citizenship. Florida’s request of Homeland Security is well within their legal right.

As requests continue to be forwarded to Homeland Security for the use of their database, elections officials and local Supervisors of Elections have been utilizing Florida’s Motor Voter registration list (generated from those who register when getting their driver’s license) to identify potential non-citizen voting.

This is where the controversy begins.

Florida, South Carolina and Texas recently passed legislation aimed at using the Federal Motor Voter registration as one means of identifying non-citizens who should not be on the rolls. A similar law passed in Virginia and Department of Justice (DOJ) scrutiny may arrive there next.

On May 31, the DOJ ordered Florida state election officials to stop any effort to seek and remove non-citizens based on the Motor Voter list. They assert that the Division of Elections must first obtain clearance from their department to carry out a voter purge. As support for this demand, they cite a special provision of the Voting Rights Act which dates back to 1965 (47 years ago) and was triggered by racial discrimination. More recently, they point to a prohibition in the Federal Motor Voter Law of purging the roll within 90 days before an election.

This order is unacceptable to Governor Rick Scott and he is standing his ground in this showdown with President Barack Obama’s Justice Department and his enforcer Attorney General Eric Holder. The Governor is emboldened more than ever to ensure that non-citizens do not cast ballots in the upcoming elections.

But why would the Justice Department have a lack of interest in prohibiting non-citizens from voting? Some have speculated that non-citizens on the rolls are largely minorities who would tend to vote Democratic. Could politics be playing a role here?

Let’s see. Just this week Obama’s campaign Communications Director David Axelrod has been trying to explain how he is not guilty of political interference at the Justice department. Axelrod claims that his clash with Attorney General Eric Holder outside the Oval Office was just a little inconsequential misunderstanding.

Who’s kidding who here?!

This is nothing but an act of intimidation against Florida. And it is wrong. The freewheeling Justice Department must be reined in and the stakes here could not be higher.

With another potentially close election at hand any significant number of illegal ballots in swing states could determine the next President of the United States.

Those swing states should pay very close attention to what is happening in Florida, South Carolina and Texas. The Justice Department stands to be very active in those contests. Be forewarned, associating justice and this Justice Department is increasingly oxymoronic.

That’s why this is a “We the People” fight. Washington elites have been far too successful in usurping power from the people—and from the states—and centralizing it in the Federal government. This can’t happen on Election Day. We can never rest if a single vote is in jeopardy of being diluted by non-citizen participation.

Each state must reserve the right to detect and remove non-citizens from their rolls. It is a fight worth having. It is ground that should not be given up. Let’s stop acting like a third-world country and get this election right.

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