Voting Rights Coalition Files Suit Over Florida Voter Purge

Civil and voting rights organizations on Tuesday filed a new lawsuit alleging that Gov. Rick Scott’s voter roll purge in Florida violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, which bans discrimination in voting practices.

Florida officials say the purge is meant to keep non-citizens off the voter rolls, but many legitimate voters ended up on the state’s inaccurate purge list.

“This lawsuit will protect eligible voters in every county in Florida from walking into a polling place only to find that the state has erroneously decreed they cannot participate in this election,” Catherine M. Flanagan, director of Project Vote’s Election Administration Program, said in a statement. “This purge is profoundly undemocratic and must be stopped.”Advancement Project Co-Chair Penda Hair said it was “shameful that Governor Scott is violating federal law to remove the voting rights of thousands of American citizens, with a glaringly disparate impact on Black and Latino citizens who are perfectly eligible to vote.”

One of the plaintiffs in the case said she never received notification that she would be purged from the list unless she proved she was a U.S. citizen while another responded but should have never been on the list in the first place, according to the lawsuit.

The Justice Department sued the state over its voter list purge earlier this month, alleging they violated the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA).