Gov. Rick Scott defends voter purge

Gov. Rick Scott defends voter purge

By Matt Grant. CREATED Jun 8, 2012

FORT MYERS, Fla - Gov. Rick Scott is planning to fight the feds.

The governor vowed to continue to the controversial "voter purge" even as the US Department of Justice questions its legality.

"We believe in fair, honest elections," said Scott. "But...we don't want people in our state voting that don't have a right to vote."

The issue has caused a riff between Tallahassee and Washington after the state began cross-referencing DMV and voter records to find illegal voters.

The state has so far identified 2700 potential non-citizens who could be wiped from the voter rolls if they don't prove citizenship.

Critics say the state is relying on outdated records. Recently, a 91-year-old World War II veteran was sent a letter asking to prove his citizenship.

"I voted in Brooklyn when I lived in Brooklyn," said Bill Internicola who now lives in Broward County. "I really don't understand it. To me it's like an insult."

The governor says everyone is given "due process" and can still vote provisionally, proving citizenship after the fact.

"I was elected governor to enforce the laws of the land," said Scott. "The law of this land is only individuals that have a right to vote should register to vote and vote that's what I continue to intend to do."

But the DOJ and Attorney General Eric Holder have questioned the legality of purging voters 90 days before an election.

"The notion that this is somehow a political ploy is inconsistent," said Holder. "One only has to look at the law. It's clear; 90 days. it is very, very clear."

But the only thing clear now is the state doesn't plan to stop.

"We are absolutely complying with the state law of Florida," insisted Scott. "My job is to enforce the laws of this state. The laws of this state is if you're not entitled to vote you should not be voting."

Matt Grant