Florida Department of State
Secretary of State
For Immediate Release
September 12, 2012
Florida’s Voter Eligibility Initiative Confirms 207 Non-citizens on Voter Rolls
Using SAVE Database, Around 8 Percent of Voters Checked
TALLAHASSEE –The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements Program (SAVE) database as well as personal admissions from illegally registered voters have confirmed 207 non-citizens have been on Florida’s voter rolls. The confirmed names will be provided to county supervisors of elections shortly after supervisors complete their federal training on how to use the SAVE database, which they are expected to do this week.
“The Voter Eligibility Initiative is already proving to be a successful process to identify illegally registered voters on Florida’s voter rolls,” said Secretary of State Ken Detzner. “We want every Florida voter to be confident that their vote is protected and not hurt in any way by the illegal activity of others. We know that every vote counts, especially here in Florida where only 537 votes decided the presidential election in 2000.”
Department of State employees recently completed their training on how to use the SAVE database. Since training has been completed, these employees have been checking the legal status of 2,625 potential non-citizens whose names were provided to supervisors of elections in April. Following the review of these potential non-citizens, the department will conduct a new matching process with the state’s driver’s license database to identify additional potential non-citizens whose current status needs to be confirmed by the SAVE database.
Under the department’s new Voter Eligibility Initiative using the SAVE database, no names of potential non-citizens will be sent to supervisors of elections without having first been reviewed by DOS, checked by the federal SAVE database and verified by SAVE as noncitizens. When a supervisor of elections receives information from DOS that a registered voter is a potential non-citizen, the supervisor must begin the statutory notice and removal process. Potential non-citizens will be provided an explanation of the basis for their potential ineligibility and an opportunity to request a hearing to dispute the determination of potential ineligibility.
In response to the department’s new process to identify non-citizens on the voter rolls earlier this summer, plaintiffs in the Arcia vs. Detzner case today dismissed three counts in their complaint that challenged the previous process. The only count remaining in the Arcia vs. Detzner case now focuses on the 90 day timeframe. In a separate lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), a federal judge upheld Florida’s right to remove non-citizens from the voter rolls whenever they are identified. The judge said that the state and federal government should work together because illegally registered non-citizens voting constitutes “irreparable harm” to Florida and its voters.