President Barack Obama’s Dept. of Homeland Security has refused to let the state of Florida access information that would help the state determine if approximately 2,700 voters are ineligible. DHS has a lock on immigration information, and under Obama’s administration, there’s a wall between federal and state agencies.
Obama’s Dept. of Justice took Florida to court over changes in voter regulations, some of them aimed at saving money in difficult economic times.
Florida’s aim to check potentially invalid registrations came after scandals related to the Leftist community organizing group ACORN. Although Democrats have downplayed problems from the group’s voter drives, a variety of reports proved those problems were real. You can look at the references section of an entry at Wikipedia for an idea about the depth of the problems. All the publications mentioned in that section are traditional media and all the headlines pointed to questionable tactics by employees or contractors of that group.
The reforms also included shortening the number of early vote days but permitting local officials to lengthen the time per day. These changes would not prevent anyone from voting.
Federal judge Robert Hinkle struck down part of the reform bill, but the judge made a dubious statement reported by Bloomberg News:
“Hinkle found unconstitutional a rule requiring voter-drive groups to turn over registration materials to the state within 48 hours of completion or face fines of as much as $1,000. The rule, which makes no provision for mailing in applications, serves little, if any, purpose, even if it doesn’t violate the National Voting Rights Act, Hinkle said.”
It would seem that if the state’s rule does not violate a federal rule, federal authorities should bow out. Hinkle was appointed by President Bill Clinton, a Democrat. The rule also required voter registration groups to list names of those who collect registrations, a perfectly reasonable request.
The Miami Herald echoed a Democrat talking point, claiming the reforms would hit minorities hardest, mostly hispanic. Ironically DHS has expressed no concern about potential voter fraud in states like Florida where there are large immigrant numbers. The term ‘hispanics’ is a bit misleading, lumping numerous cultures into a single category largely for political purposes and talking points.
Most immigrants are Mexican. The Pew Research Center found that Mexicans account for 32 percent of all immigrants. Pew includes illegal aliens in the group described as immigrants, and of that 32 percent, more than half are here illegally. In contrast, the second largest immigrant group, Filipinos, comprises only 5 percent.
Florida senator Bill Nelson, a Democrat, has sided with Obama’s administration on the voting reforms. Nelson will face a GOP challenger in November.
Ironically, in 2011, the Dept. of Justice actually made it harder for some American citizens to vote by issuing waivers to states on complying with the MOVE Act aimed at ensuring military votes were counted.
Fox News said Florida secretary of state Kent Detzner sent a letter to DHS:
“I hope you will understand the importance of making sure the vote of an eligible voter is not diminished by the vote of ineligible voter and provide my department the access it needs…”
Thus far, DHS has stymied Detzner’s request. It appears the race for the White House will be close. By obstructing Florida's request, DHS will narrow the window for registrations to be checked.
Lack of cooperation by the federal agency should be a concern to all Floridians.
Did Sen. Nelson read HB 1355 before siccing DOJ on Florida (The US Report)
League of Women Voters special deal on Cuba travel (The US Report)
(Commentary by Kay B. Day/June 1, 2012)