U.S. Department of Justice Effort to Obstruct Voting Crimes Law Enforcement Condemned by National Center for Public Policy Research
DOJ is Falsely Claiming Voting Rights Act Covers Florida in Attempt to Stop Purge of Illegal Voters
Federal Government Criticizes Florida Over Florida's Inability to Access a Federal Database - But the Feds Illegally Have Withheld it from Florida for Nearly a Year!
Washington, D.C. - The state of Florida is right to defy the U.S. Department of Justice, says the National Center for Public Policy Research, as the DOJ is wrongly attempting to re-write federal law in an effort to block enforcement of laws designed to deter voting fraud.
The Miami Herald reported today that "[Florida] Gov. Rick Scott's elections chief on Wednesday defiantly refused a federal demand to stop purging non-citizens from Florida's voter rolls, intensifying an election-year confrontation with President Barack Obama's administration as each side accuses the other of breaking federal law."
The Department of Justice is threatening to order the state of Florida to cease its statewide voter roll maintenance program, the National Center says. DOJ is falsely claiming that before removing ineligible voters from the voting rolls, Florida needs pre-approval from the U.S. Department of Justice under the Voting Rights Act.
"This action on the part of DOJ is beyond lawless. Whether due to incompetence or out of a willful desire to influence upcoming elections, DOJ has clearly misread the statutes," says the National Center's Horace Cooper. "The DOJ has to know that only five counties within Florida are covered by pre-clearance requirements of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Furthermore, the National Voter Registration Act is designed to facilitate lawful voting, not voter fraud. It is absolutely essential that only lawful voters be listed on Florida's voter rolls. Requiring illegal aliens or people who are deceased to remain on the voter rolls threatens the integrity of all voters and potentially dilutes the right to vote of the lawful residents of Florida."
"The Department of Justice must rescind this threat. If they won't, the Courts will," Cooper says. "The Department of Justice is supposed to be the chief law enforcement office in the nation and it should know the law," Cooper further explains. "Forcing the state of Florida to keep non-citizens on the roll would clearly violate the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution."
"All of this could have been prevented if the Obama Administration had allowed Florida to access the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) database to ensure the accuracy of the state's registration rolls," Cooper argues. "Instead, the Department of Homeland Security has delayed access for almost a year. Laughably, the DOJ now wants to try to use DHS's delay as a further reason to thwart Florida's election roll maintenance effort."
"Florida's election roll maintenance program is not only legal, it has built-in safeguards to protect any lawful citizens rights to vote," Cooper argues.
Cooper, a legal commentator who taught constitutional law at George Mason University, is the author of "When the Dead Vote, the Living Suffer," published by the National Center earlier this year.
"As I explained in 'When the Dead Vote, the Living Suffer,' efforts by the Department of Justice to obstruct efforts to prevent voter fraud hurt minorities, despite claims by voter integrity opponents that legal voting is somehow racist," Cooper said. "Rightly understood, voter fraud suppresses the basic right of self-determination, the most important and constitutionally-protected right of all. Every time a fraudulent vote is cast, a real vote, the political expression of a real voice, goes unheard, unacknowledged, uncounted. Black Americans, women and others fought too hard for genuine, full voting rights to sit back now and watch our own government fight efforts to keep elections clean."
Cooper concluded, "The precedents being set by DOJ are troubling. For the first time, the highest law enforcement office in the land is siding with efforts to allow voter fraud and voter suppression."
Horace Cooper is an adjunct fellow with the National Center for Public Policy Research, a member of the African-American leadership group Project 21, and a legal commentator. He taught constitutional law at George Mason University in Virginia and was a senior counsel to U.S. House Majority Leader Dick Armey.
The National Center for Public Policy Research is a conservative, free-market, non-profit think-tank established in 1982. It is supported by the voluntary gifts of over 100,000 individual recent supporters. In 2011 it received over 350,000 individual donations. Two percent of its revenue comes from corporate sources. Contributions to it are tax-deductible.