Here he goes again, round two of Gov. Rick Scott vs. the voters of Florida.
Instead of focusing his stewardship of the state on getting relief for beleaguered homeowners being priced out of their homes by skyrocketing insurance rates, instead of putting his energy into making good on the “let’s get back to work” promises that got him elected, Scott continues the hunt for those phantom noncitizen voters.
Never mind that federal law prohibits voter roll purges within 90 days of an election.
Never mind that his previous purge did not reveal substantial evidence that there are any significant number of noncitizens registered to vote in Florida — but did reveal embarrassing cases in which citizens were targeted for removal.
This Republican governor is intent on delivering the state of Florida to the GOP, and if he has to suppress the rights of minority voters, in violation of federal law, that’s just the price of winning the presidential election on Nov. 6.
So now, not months but five weeks before one of the most important elections of our time, when supervisors of elections in every county have already mailed overseas ballots and are preparing to mail local ballots, Scott and his secretary of state have sent another list they think contains 198 ineligible noncitizens.
They’re asking those busy supervisors to review and challenge citizenship based on another error-filled database.
This marvelous new roster that’s supposed to help Scott get rid of those pesky liberals comes from a federal immigration database named after the intergalactic status of those loathed immigrants: Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements.
And what do you know? A Miami Herald analysis of the list compiled by the state from that database shows a disproportionate number of Democrats and independents — those more likely to vote for the re-election of President Barack Obama.
The Republicans make up only 16 percent of the purge list, though they account for 36 percent of the overall voter rolls.
And here we go again with the knock-out punch to Scott: The Herald found not only real, living, breathing citizens on his supposedly improved list, but also citizens whose voter status had already been challenged in the previous purge — and who had already submitted proof that they are citizens.
The Herald did find one noncitizen who has voted.
She lives up in Panama City Beach, a nice woman originally from the Philippines married more than three decades to U.S. citizen Navy veteran. She was registered to vote when she got her driver’s license a long time ago in Virginia and thought she was eligible. Not exactly fraudster material.
And in the last purge, there was that eager Canadian fellow who has been duly flogged.
Thankfully, it’s looking as if those fastidious supervisors of elections aren’t willing to break the law on behalf of Emperor Scott and the GOP.
But if the governor is willing to put all this energy into an election now, one can only imagine how far he may go when he’s up for re-election in two years.
Maybe then he’ll target trespassers into the Sunshine State’s voter rolls from Mars.