Internicola admitted to one discrepancy in records. He says he was born in 1921, though he said his drivers’ license indicates 1919. The reason: in his youth he wanted to start driving early so “I bent the truth a little bit.”
Hastings said the state was engaging in "voter suppression" and using a "back-door poll tax" by not sending a pre-stamped envelope to voters to mail back their proof of citizenship.
Deutch and Hastings wrote a letter to Scott Tuesday questioning the timing of the voter roll drive just three months before the primary.
“Providing a list of names of questionable validity — created with absolutely no oversight — to county supervisors and asking that they purge their rolls will create chaotic results and further undermine Floridians’ confidence in the integrity of our elections,” stated the letter also signed by Florida Democratic Rep.’s Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Frederica Wilson, Corrine Brown and Kathy Castor. They asked Scott to “immediately suspend the purge of voter registration lists” in order to “ensure not one Floridian finds his or her legitimate voting rights callously stripped away.”
Chris Cate, a spokesman for the state Division of Elections, defended the state’s actions. “It’s very important we make sure ineligible voters can’t cast a ballot,” he said in an email to the Herald on Tuesday.
He said the state continues to identify ineligible voters, saying the state Division of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles has agreed to update information using a federal database that the elections division couldn’t access directly.
“We won’t be sending any new names to supervisors until the information we have is updated, because we always want to make sure we are using the best information available,” Cate wrote. “I don’t have a timetable on when the next list of names will be sent to supervisors, but there will be more names.”
Also complaining to Scott was Florida’s only statewide elected Democrat, Sen. Bill Nelson. "Attempts to purge the voter roll so soon after signing one of the nation’s most controversial voting laws raises concern, especially among young and minority voters," Nelson wrote in a letter to Scott.
Republican Party of Florida Chairman Lenny Curry slammed Nelson for practicing the “worst kind of politics.”
“Senator Nelson not only asks our public servants to ignore the threat to electoral integrity, but he implies those who meet their legal obligation to ensure honest elections are being discriminatory,” he said in a statement. “Nelson’s distortions and willingness to pit people against each other based on race demonstrates the worst kind of politics.”
In an interview, Broward Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes said she is complying with the state’s orders, but does not believe the bulk of the voters who have yet to respond are non-citizens. She called for the state to stop the process and vet the list more carefully using more sources of records beyond the drivers’ license data.
“List maintenance is ongoing,” Snipes said. “We would have gotten folks off the rolls if they are not supposed to be there anyway.”
Broward Party’s Democratic chairman Mitch Ceasar said the number on the county’s list — 259 among more than 1 million registered voters in Broward — “is very very microscopic.” But he questioned the action led by Scott’s administration.
“It’s not by accident that Florida is doing this and all these other states that have Republican governors are doing it,” Ceasar said. “The odds are too high that they had the same independent thought of each other.”
Colorado and New Mexico have also launched similar efforts to check voter databases for noncitizens.
Miami Herald Political Writer Marc Caputo contributed to this report.