Voter Purge

State Continues "Project Integrity" Voter Purge

Oct 14, 2013

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.

Ashley Lopez / WGCU


The state’s voter purge tour made a stop in Sarasota Tuesday. Florida’s Secretary of State Ken Detzner has been traveling around the state in the past few days.

He’s been sitting down with local election supervisors to go over the state’s second attempt to remove non-citizens from the voter rolls.

Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner is continuing his statewide tour today to convince county election supervisors that the Scott Administration's second attempt at a voter-roll purge of noncitizens will be fair and accurate.

Detzner says state access to a federal immigration database of will make this year's purge far more accurate than the one last year that depended on drivers license information. Some county supervisors refused to cooperate, saying they didn't trust the data.

Florida Democratic Party chairwoman Allison Tant told reporters in a conference call today the purge should be called off.

"First they did it to look for dead people, then they did it to look for felons. Now they're looking for people with an "o" or an "a" after their name. This is complete and total suppression", Tant said. "It is an attempt to stop people from voting because you can't win an election fair and square without doing it."

Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner says providing elections supervisors with the records they want before removing potential non-citizens from the voting rolls won't be a problem.  Detzner will be traveling the state next month to meet with local elections officials before resuming a controversial voter purge.

Last year's version of the purge sparked lawsuits and an outcry from civil-rights groups because most of the flagged voters were minorities. Now elections supervisors say they won't participate unless the state provides proof that the voters aren't citizens and therefore not eligible to vote.

Lee County Supervisor of Elections Sharon Harrington has been tapped to join a task force of ten election officials from around the country.

The group will present a report on best voting practices to a presidential commission in the coming weeks.

The taskforce will take a close look at ballot lengths and design, poll worker training, voting machines, and voter roll maintenance—which includes so-called “voter purges”.