From the Department of Phantom Voter Fraud, Republicans in Florida have made sure that the Florida Division of Elections is hard at work enforcing their new election laws that restrict voters from getting to the polls. Certain voters, that is.
Miami-Dade's Supervisor of Elections Penelope Townsley has sent a letter briefing the county's mayor and commissioner about the new effort to spot and remove ineligible non-citizen voters from the rolls. Bottom line: the burden is on the voter and, if they don't respond by mail or notice their names in a newspaper ad a month or so later, they'll be stripped from the voter rolls.
What better way to deal with a certain block of voters you might have a problem with in the coming election than to just purge them from the rolls?
While this may cause the Department some hardship logistically since this is an unexpected new process at the start of a busy election cycle, the procedures themselves are not new. This process is set forth in Florida Statutes 98.075 and Rule 1S-2.041 for the removal of ineligible registered voters and is consistent with how we have been handling voters that the DOE believes to be ineligible for other reasons such as a person being a felon, deceased or mentally incapacitated.
This "unexpected new process" is more of a "hardship" to those voters that will be prevented from casting a ballot, legal citizens or not, than it is for the Florida Division of Elections. Of course navigating the above logistics is only part of the problem. Anyone who has even tried to merely renew a driver's license in Florida recently knows that you practically have to offer up your first born child along with numerous documents for proof of citizenship to do so. The one piece of identification that is good enough for nearly everything else is no longer good enough proof for the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles in order to renew your driver's license: Your currently valid driver's license.
But back to the purge.
If an actual citizen is flagged, and home bound or ill and can't get to the DHSMV to document that proof, no vote for them. That's what happened to one woman in Miami, who says she guesses she won't do anything about it then and won't vote anymore.
Mission accomplished GOP!
A sponsor of this new election voter suppression law that makes it hard for an actual citizen to stand their ground at the ballot box is none other than Rep. Dennis Baxley (R-Ocala), also famous for making it that much easier for people to kill at will with the actual Stand Your Ground law.
Baxley claims "We need to protect the integrity of the system and ensure that people who aren't eligible to vote aren't casting ballots." Of course, his taking a stand against voter fraud might be more convincing if Baxley hadn't also said this:
"The elections supervisors are going to send any names they find suspicious to the state attorneys, but the prosecutors have bigger fish to fry than this. So the only way to deal with this problem is preventative [sic]."
That's right. Baxley isn't interested in prosecuting actual voter fraud and admits it's highly unlikely, he just wants to make sure that people don't vote even if they were flagged by mistake in this new law creating logistical hardships over at the elections offices.
You know, "preventive measures."