Republican Gov. Rick Scott of Florida is out to steal the election for his party by purging tens of thousands of potential Obama voters from the voter rolls.
Like Jeb Bush in 2000, Scott, while claiming to remove non- citizens, is actually bringing back the shameful Jim Crow/Dixiecrat practices of denying the right to vote mainly to voters of color.
In a letter sent on Thursday to Florida’s Secretary of State Ken Detzner, the U.S. Dept. of Justice demanded that the purging of voter rolls stop because the process it is using has not been cleared under the Voting Rights Act.
The Justice Department also charges that Florida is in violation of the National Voter Registration Act because any adjustment of voter registration rolls should have stopped on May 16, ninety days before the stae’s Aug. 14 Primary.
Five counties in Florida are still subject to the Voting Rights Act, which means that the State of Florida needed to get approval from the Federal Courts or the DOJ before conducting its purge. Florida failed to comply.
The Department of Justice gave the state a June 6 deadline to respond with a statement explaining what Florida intended to do about the complaint from the department.
Knowing the history of Florida voter suppression, all of the voters purged from the list need to be checked and re-checked. In 2000 Florida purged thousands of voters who were falsely labeled as felons. It has come to light that one of the people illegally purged this time was a 91-year-old citizen who was a veteran of WWII.
Last Wednesday, speaking to a meeting of the Congressional Black Caucus and the Conference of National Black Churches in Washington, the U.S. Attorney General said that he will vigorously defend the Voting Rights Act of 1965, including the Section 5 provision that Southern States or those that have historically disenfranchised black voters must clear any changes to voting law or electoral systems with the Justice Department.
This is in line with a speech Holder made at the University of Texas back in Dec. 2011 when he warned, “The U.S. Department of Justice will not stand idly by if it feels Texas intends to halt or reverse gains for minority voting rights.”
At this point the Republicans, true to form, have initiated Voter ID laws in 22 States. These efforts are clearly designed to strengthen the Republican’s chances in the coming elections by putting new barriers to prevent blacks and Latinos from voting. If they get their way, millions of potential Obama voters will be denied the right to vote.
The Department of justice needs to put Holder’s words into vigorous action and stop this racist conspiracy to steal the 2012 elections.
Millions more need to be registered, alerted, and motivated to get to the polls and to counter all attempts by the Republicans to suppress the votes of progressive voters. A basic part of this election struggle is to prevent the Republicans from turning back the clock.
The Republicans actions speak louder then their words. This election is about the fight against racism, and for the rights and wellbeing of working people. The Republicans must not be allowed to steal the election again. More public pressure is need in defense of the right to vote for all.
If the extreme right is not stopped, they will hijack the Presidency and the U.S. Congress.
Photo: Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott. Brendan Farrington/AP