Florida’s secretary of state returned to the capital on Thursday, after a week-long cross-state tour pitching his renewed effort to remove ineligible voters from the rolls. The goal of the tour – which Secretary of State Ken Detzner dubbed "Project Integrity" – was to talk to local supervisors of elections about their concerns over the botched voter purge of 2012.
Last year’s purge initially identified 180,000 non-citizens, but fewer than 200 were verified as ineligible voters.
Detzner says cooperation from the federal government now gives him access to a database that will make this year’s purge much more accurate.
"I communicate with lots of citizens, and they communicate with me", said Detzner. "The first and foremost thing that they tell to me is that they don’t want their vote neutralized by anybody that is ineligible to vote that may have registered to vote."
Civil-rights groups oppose the plan, saying that Hispanic voters, many of whom were born in the United States, have been singled out by the effort. Hispanics overwhelmingly supported President Obama in last year's election.
Detzner – an appointee of Republican governor Rick Scott – says his goal is to start removing more non-eligible voters in advance of the 2014 election.