Florida Republicans Illegally Purging Voter Rolls, AGAIN
Yep. Apparently it is now an official Florida tradition. The Florida GOP’s brazen schemes to strip legitimate Democratic voters of their ability to cast their votes comes back, with a vengeance. Republicans claim they are trying to stop voter fraud, something for which there is extremely little evidence–unless, of course, you count the massive voter fraud inherent in repeated GOP attempts to disenfranchise Democrats over the years. But no, they’re not concerned with that. The purge is–surprise!–heavily biased against Democrats, Independents, and Hispanic voters (everyone except Republicans, how strange!), according to a Miami Herald study.
Back in 2000, state Attorney General Katherine Harris, partisan extremist and Bush loyalist, carried out the first politically-directed purge, one which stripped tens of thousands of legal Democratic voters of their right to vote in Florida on the bogus assertion that they were felons. This, in an election which was decided by only a few hundred votes. We have Harris to thank for eight years of G. W. Bush, and, in his wake, a stacked Supreme Court, a bitter partisan divide, a battered Constitution, two massively costly land wars in Asia, and eight trillion dollars of debt.
In 2002, the purge continued, with the company charged to maintain the list claiming that as many as 91,000 of the 94,000 names on the list were not illegal voters. Florida “promised” to clean up the list.
Jump to 2004. Guess what? The voter purge list was still alive, this time even more flawed than ever, and–like all of its iterations–it “accidentally” purged decisively against Democratic voters. Whoopsie! How could that have possibly happened?
Fast-forward to 2008, and we see the techniques to purge Democratic voters continued, albeit in a milder form: meaningless small typos and variations in how names were written (with a middle initial or full name, for example) purged tens of thousands of voters. While this would not target Democrats with the initial purge, it affected Democrats more in the end because elderly and minority voters–heavily Democratic–would be far less able to repair their status. And while ACORN (which legally registered many poor people to vote) was under a vicious attack which would eventually shut down it down, Florida imposed new laws making new registration harder, a move that would disproportionately disadvantage older and minority voters (again, Democrats).
Well, the mild-mannered days of 2008 are out the window, and we see the brazen and corrupt Republican machine surge back into action, this time with an all-new list of 182,000 voters to purge, with easily tens of thousands of them clearly legitimate–and, according to a study by the Miami Herald, “predominantly made up of Democrats, independents and Latinos.” The last groups was famously spared the purge back in 2004, but that was before the numbers shifted from Republican-friendly Cuban-Americans to a current, far greater majority of Democratic-friendly non-Cuban Latinos in the state.
And that really does highlight how this is blatantly political–every single time this happens in Florida, it just “happens” by “accident” that the majority of voters “mistakenly” stripped of their right to vote are Democrats.
Not that any of this is a surprise; Republicans have become more and more shameless and open in their attempts to disenfranchise Democrats. Expect more of this in the months and years to come.