Great news for those who desire fair and honest elections: the Orlando Sentinel reports that U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle has “rejected a request from the Obama Administration to put an immediate stop to [Florida’s] non-citizen voter purge program.”
The program in question involved 2600 challenge letters sent out to suspected illegitimate voters, whose registration information did not match up with other databases available to the state. Over 100 illegitimate voters have already been discovered, with at least 50 of them having committed the felony offense of voting illegally in previous elections.
TALLAHASSEE — A federal judge rejected a request from the Obama administration to put an immediate stop to the state’s non-citizen voter purge program.
The Justice Department had asked for a restraining order, arguing that the program attempting to remove 2,600 non-citizens from the voter rolls violated federal voting law that prohibits the systemic removal of voters 90 days before an election.
U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle said that, according to his reading of the law, the 90-day provision did not apply to removing non-citizens from the rolls. But, he also chastised the state, saying there were “some problems” with the way that the program had been carried out.
At Wednesday’s hearing
Michael Carvin, a Washington, D.C.attorney representing the state, argued that the Division of Elections had essentially stopped the program, following complaints from supervisors of elections that the state’s initial list included hundreds of citizens. The state has sued in Washington to get access to a Department of Homeland Security database with updated immigration data.
“They’ve been asking nine months, 11 months, please give us that data,” Carvin said.
Hinkle is the same judge who last month threw out a 2011 law that restricted voter registration groups like the League of Women Voters, singling out a provision that required election forms to be turned in within 48 hours of being filled out.