Gov. Rick Scott of Florida is trying to purge state voter rolls just before a key election. The purge targets 180,000 Floridians—87% of which are people of color. It gives them 30 days to prove their citizenship and if they fail to do so within this time frame, they will not be eligible to vote. If this plan succeeds, thousands of voters will be disenfranchised and will have a serious, negative impact on the election. Keep in mind that Bush “won” Florida by a slim margin of 537 votes in 2000.
Former Secretary of State Kurt Browning worked with Scott on the purge. Just before Scott selected Browning as Secretary in 2011, Browning led a group, Protect Your Vote Inc., which was created to oppose fair redistricting. One of the biggest checks that Browning’s organization received for $100,000 in 2010 was from the Center To Protect Patients’ Rights. At the time of the donation, the source of the money was cloaked in secrecy.
Last month, Republic Report exclusively reported that Center To Protect Patients’ Rights is part of a collection of front groups funded by David and Charles Koch as well as other billionaires as part of an election-influencing effort. The Koch Brothers plan to use these front groups to finance $400 million of a $1 billion campaign in outside money to defeat President Obama as well as defeating congressional Democrats. Mitt Romney’s Super Pac and many other nonprofits run by Karl Rove will supply the other $600 million needed to accomplish their goal.
Last week, the Department Of Justice (DOJ) sent a letter to Scott demanding a halt to the purge. Scott responded with a blatant disregard for the order and explained Florida’s plan to continue the purge.
In April, Governor Scott began the purge by sending lists of over 2,600 suspected non-citizen voters to county election officials across the state. After reviewing the lists and Scott’s method of compiling non-citizen names, several officials (mostly Republican) have refused to comply with the state sanctioned voter purge, citing the lists as unreliable and suspect.
This is unlawful and reminiscent of the purges ordered by Jeb Bush in 2000—where thousands of mostly Black and Latino voters were disenfranchised prior to the presidential election.
What can you do? SIGN THIS PETITION by ColorOfChange.org that demands the DOJ investigate Gov. Scott. It only takes a moment, but it can make a huge difference in how this plays out. And also how YOUR life will be affected. It’s in your hands. Please sign this petition.
Kimberley A. Johnson is an author and The Spokeswoman for Rock The Slut Vote, an organization standing up and fighting the war on women. Find her on Facebook, Twitter and “like” the Rock The Slut Vote Facebook page