Nearly a month has passed since the U.S. Department of Homeland Security agreed to grant Florida access to the federal citizenship database (also known as the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements database, or SAVE). Florida still cannot access the SAVE system to identify and remove non-citizens from the voting rolls, and we are now less than three months away from the 2012 general election.
Given the Department of Homeland Security’s failure to execute an agreement over the last month, after agreeing to provide Florida access to SAVE, attorneys representing the State of Florida and its citizens are now preparing all appropriate legal options to ensure that an agreement is executed in a timely manner and prevent the irreparable harm that will result if non-citizens are not removed from the voting rolls.
Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner is releasing an obsolete list of potential non-citizens registered as voters that was generated months ago. Governor Scott supports the decision to release the list. However, as the Department of State has said, the list is a preliminary and unverified former working document that is being provided upon request. The data has not been verified or vetted for credibility or reliability by the Florida Department of State. This information is now outdated, should be considered obsolete, and will not be used as the basis for any action by the Florida Department of State. Accordingly, removing non-citizens from the voting rolls requires additional analysis and specific procedures governed by state law to accurately determine voter eligibility.
Given the sensitivity of this information and citizens’ right to privacy, as well as the proximity to a major primary election next week, anyone who obtains these public records must handle them with the utmost caution. Some have rightly raised concerns about the irresponsible use of these names and other accompanying personal information for political and other purposes. The Governor shares these concerns and further cautions all recipients of this list to act responsibly.