Florida Governor Rick Scott (R) has directed his administration to purge the state’s voting rolls of thousands of registered voters prior to the November election. But his list, which purports to include only “non-citizens,” targets mostly Democrats and Hispanics and, as ThinkProgresshasdocumented, may disenfranchise hundreds of citizens who are eligible to vote.
The story of a sitting governor of a state with a history of presidential election shenanigansknowingly purging his own, eligible constituents from the voter rolls is the definition of major news, and yet remarkably, in the first five months of the year, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and USA Today have published a total of zero articles about Scott’s actions. The New York Times did slightly better, printing one story on page 16 of the Friday, May 18th edition. The article ran under the credulous headline: “Florida Steps Up Effort Against Illegal Voters.”
Florida’s local newspapers, led by The Miami Herald, have been far more diligent in reporting the governor’s effort to disenfranchise eligible voters. While it may be easy to dismiss this as local fare, the implications of Scott’s purge could potentially swing the presidential election come November. Remember, months before anyone had ever heard of hanging chads, Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris (R) conducted a similar cleansing of the voter rolls in 2000, which resulted in thousands of eligible voters being knocked off the rolls in time for the infamous Gore v. Bush election.