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A Times Editorial

Editorial: Gov. Rick Scott should let elections supervisors do their jobs

It turns out there is a reasonable way to scrub the voter rolls of ineligible voters — and it's not Gov. Rick Scott's politically motivated purge. Let the county supervisors of election do their jobs.

Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections Deborah Clark has posted a legal notice notifying 98 registered voters their eligibility to cast a ballot has been called into question. Of that total, 92 have been adjudicated as felons, four have been found by a court to be mentally incompetent and two are deceased. The flagged voters (the living ones) have 30 days to clear up questions about their eligibility or be removed from the rolls. Clark is simply performing the duties she was elected to do, without meddling from the governor's office.

There are 607,332 registered voters in Pinellas County. Elections officials routinely cross-check with state records looking for felons, mental incompetents, fictitious persons, illegal aliens or voters who have provided an invalid address. The current system of identifying improperly registered voters works. But Scott would go further by bullying the state's supervisors of elections to engage in a needless purge of voting rolls. Never mind that the governor's flawed 2012 effort found only a handful of ineligible voters on the rolls or that voter fraud is virtually nonexistent.

Clark, along with many other supervisors of elections, rightly has expressed reservations with Scott's latest ill-conceived voter purge scheme, noting Secretary of State Ken Detzner has not provided a Homeland Security database to even conduct a reliable search. A better approach is to let Clark and her peers keep doing their jobs without political interference from Tallahassee.

Editorial: Gov. Rick Scott should let elections supervisors do their jobs 09/27/13 [Last modified: Friday, September 27, 2013 5:46pm]
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