FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 7, 2013
CONTACT: ACLU of Florida Media Office, (786) 363 - 2737 firstname.lastname@example.org
Orlando - Today, ACLU of Florida Mid-Florida Regional Director Joyce Hamilton Henry is attending the third in a series of roundtables being hosted by the Florida Department of State to encourage support for the Scott Administration’s proposal to resurrect the flawed voter purges which the state attempted before the 2012 election.
The previous purge effort was described by county Supervisors of Elections as an "embarrassment," "sloppy," and "disgusting." The ACLU of Florida sued to challenge that effort, but that case was dismissed following the Supreme Court decision in Shelby County v. Holder which gutted the Voting Rights Act.
Now, Gov. Scott's Secretary of State is travelling across Florida as part of “Project Integrity,” an effort to get Floridians to support the idea that the purge should be tried again. ACLU of Florida representatives have also appeared at the previous roundtables in Panama City and Jacksonville, and will be present for the upcoming roundtables in Sarasota, and Broward County.
The following statement may be attributed to ACLU of Florida Mid-Florida Regional Director Joyce Hamilton-Henry:
“The people of Florida deserve to know that the officials tasked with creating their democracy are doing so in a way that is fair and protects the basic rights of all voters. But for all the talk of ‘integrity’ at these roundtables, the concerns of Floridians worried about the impact this purge will have on voting rights have not been satisfactorily addressed. How the purge system will work, how much it will cost, why the state is relying on flawed government databases, and how it will ensure that those who are wrongly removed will be allowed to vote – these critical issues all remain frustratingly vague in spite of the statewide sales pitch in preparation of the administration’s upcoming voter purge.
“True integrity in our elections would involve solving the real problems in our election system like the outrageous lines which have stopped eligible citizens from voting, not requiring naturalized citizens to jump through more hoops in the name of battling the phantom of voter fraud.
“Last year we saw the dangers of using flawed data to purge registered voters: many of the people who received letters telling them they would be removed from the voter rolls were in fact eligible citizens. With this embarrassing record, and without assurances that there is a reliable process in place to resolve a real problem, we will continue to press Secretary Detzner and the Scott Administration to end the attacks on voting rights and ensure that every eligible Floridian is able to participate in our democracy.”
Today’s roundtable is at the Orange County Supervisors of Elections office at 119 West Kaley Street, Orlando, FL 32806. Joyce Hamilton-Henry will be available to give comment to press following the completion of the roundtable.