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Florida Voter Purge Resumes After Supreme Court Ruling on Voting Rights Act

A Florida federal court dismissed a lawsuit brought by a Hispanic civic group and two naturalized citizens that blocked a voter purge in the state. After the Wednesday ruling, the process of screening suspected non-citizens and removing them from voter rolls will resume.

The process in 2012 included the flagging of people with Latino-sounding names and sending them a notice that they have 30 days to contest or they will be purged from the voter rolls.

The Department of Justice warned in 2012 that the voter purge, which would affect 180,000 people in Florida, was illegal, according to ThinkProgress. Election supervisors then refused to enforce the purge.

The suit was filed in 2012, arguing that the five Florida counties were protected under the Voting Rights Act. Since the U.S. Supreme Court removed a key section of the Voting Rights Act in June, states are not required to get federal approval in order to change the way they hold elections. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit had no choice but to dismiss the suit.

Despite the fact that the state never managed to find any non-citizens in the state of Florida who were registered to vote, Secretary of State Ken Detzner (R) plans to resume the voter purge.

During the 2012 presidential election, Floridians still had the longest waits at polls. Minority-heavy, urban areas had the most harried voting experience in the nation. Republican lawmakers cut early voting, changed ballot lengths so that could throw page after page of amendments onto ballots and restricted voter registration.

After the Supreme Court ruling, North Carolina also geared up to pass a number of new voting restrictions. North Carolina Republicans proposed the elimination of early voting, as well as Sunday voting hours and same-day registration provisions.

 

Sources: Huffington Post, ThinkProgress

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