“I’m a little bit irritated. This is the first time in my life I’ve had to produce a birth certificate. I’d like to know how my name got tossed into the ring.”
The decision of whether to purge a voter from the voter roll is up to each county elections supervisor.
Buck, who jokingly referred to herself as “an illegal alien from Poland,” was briefly removed from the Pinellas voter roll after she did not answer a certified letter from the elections office, as allowed by law.
Buck was soon “reinstated,” in the words of Pinellas Supervisor of Elections Deborah Clark, who decided not to remove any other voters because she lost faith in the state’s purge list.
“We will not use unreliable data,” Clark said.
The burden is on elections supervisors to ban noncitizens from the rolls, but many of them said they did not want to disenfranchise citizens, either.
Miami-Dade Supervisor of Elections Penelope Townsley said she lost faith in the list because the error rate was as high as 33 percent.
“I find the state’s noncitizens match list to be unreliable and insufficient, on its own, to meet the preponderance of the evidence standard required to find that a registered voter is not a United States citizen,” Townsley told state elections officials.
Times staff writer Jessica Vander Velde, Times researcher Natalie Watson and Herald/Times staff writer Marc Caputo contributed to this report.
Steve Bousquet can be reached at bousquet@ tampabay.com.