newsserviceflorida video: Florida Dept. of State Elections Division spokesman Chris Cate discusses the news of thousands of Illegal voters being on county voting rolls throughout Florida, many of whom have been there for decades. May 9, 2012.
Hmm-m... so if I've got this right, the very same people whom we were assured for years by numerous political parties, ethnicity-based organizations, civil rights groups and the American Mainstream Media didn't really exist -they were just hurtful figments of our collective imagination- have not only been proven to really exist, but exist in numbers far larger than we ever thought, and have, in some cases, perhaps been voting illegally for decades?
Further, that the county in Florida with the highest concentration of those very special illegal voters is, in fact, Miami-Dade County?
So it looks like the "experts" were wrong on everything, no?
Including Herald columnists like Leonard Pitts, Jr., who in this January 10th 2012 column,
in order to make his absurd leap in logic, has to imagine the problem of someone with no car and no bank account and no... anything.
Yes, they're as helpless as a baby!
Honestly, does Pitts really STILL think that in the year 2012, state and county governments in this country haven't already issued millions of photo ID cards to people on govt. assistance in order to cut down on fraud against taxpayers and facilitate access to cash instead of having to wait for monthly checks sent by mail?
That's been going on for well over 20 years...
Yes, Leonard Pitts, Jr. really is that out of touch!
In his mind, it's still 1966, so he has to pretend that he doesn't know anything about these common knowledge facts regarding the advent of technology, otherwise his ridiculous ideological argument falls flatter than usual.
The usual techniques employed in a Pitts column are willful and intentional ignorance about commonly known facts and imagining the worst possible scenario and then setting that bogus reality up as both normal and everywhere.
And that person needs the help of a caring, sharing federal government that will look after them.
That's why Pitts is the Herald's resident go-to pro-Big Government columnist, and is consistent in this mantra every month of the year from his home outside of Florida.
(The columns he writes for the Herald that intentional don't have geographical datelines unless he's out of the country, so that way, you don't think about the fact that he doesn't really live in Florida, and the newspaper can continue the illusion that he has something worth reading, a foolish facade most people are hip to.)
So, speaking of phonies, when are we going to hear the logical explanation from the folks at La Raza about where all these thousands of people magically came from, after all, and how THEY could have been so wrong?
I wan to make sure that I don't miss THAT televised press conference!
Special Note to Mainstream Media: Please don't embarrass yourselves in the future AGAIN by using those same self-interested and condescending groups, with their smug and accusatory spokes-models as "experts" on voting rights, ethnic voting turnout and civil rights, who accused anyone and everyone opposed to any reasonable common sense use of photo IDs as racists.
Ironically, you often need to show a photo ID to get into many office buildings where newspapers or TV stations have offices or bureaus, but the same newspaper's Editorial Boards were often AGAINST voter ID laws that required you to use a photo ID to prove who you were to vote.
But you do need to show one in order to get inside the building and place a newspaper classified ad!
Oh, that's right, nobody does that anymore.
And as it happens, I also don't much want to hear excuses from govt. employees working in County Election Offices who basically gave those groups cover, either, who now say, contrary to before, that nobody expects the rolls to be entirely accurate.
Uh, actually, we do.
Those people are finito, and persona non grata.
One more reminder: Voters facing expulsion from voter rolls can ask for a hearing to dispute the finding.
But those requests are, themselves, public records, so those of you interested in knowing whether there are any "illegal" voters in your city can ask for the list thru a public records request of your county election board if you were so inclined.
After all, how do you think the news media knew whom to contact and use as examples in this article in order to make it more sympathetic -really, using a sickly old woman?- instead of a sign of something insidious, or just further proof of more general govt. incompetency in Florida?
Florida finds nearly 2,700 non-U.S. citizens on voting rolls
The state has found thousands of potential non-U.S. citizens on voting rolls and an analysis indicates a third could have voted in previous elections. But some of the voters say they’re lawful citizens who legally cast ballots
By Marc Caputo and Steve Bousquet
May 9, 2012
Nearly 2,700 potential non-U.S. citizens are registered to vote in Florida and some could have been unlawfully casting ballots for years, according to a Miami Herald-CBS4 analysis of elections data.
The bulk of the potential non-citizen voters are in Florida’s largest county, Miami-Dade, where the elections supervisor is combing through a list of nearly 2,000 names and contacting them.
An analysis of a partial list of 350 names in Miami-Dade showed that about 104 have cast ballots going as far back as 1996.
Even if voters are on the list, it doesn’t mean they’re not eligible to cast a ballot.
Consider the case of Miami’s Maria Ginorio, a 64-year-old from Cuba, who said she became a U.S. citizen in August 2009. She said she was angered by a letter she received asking her to go to the elections office to document her status. Ginorio, who said she typically votes by absentee ballot, is ill and homebound.
"I’m not going to do anything about this,’’ Ginorio said. "I can’t. I guess I won’t vote anymore. I say this with pain in my heart, because voting is my right as a citizen.’’
Citizens like Ginorio were flagged as potentially ineligible after the state’s Division of Elections compared its database with a database maintained by Florida’s Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, which records whether a newly licensed driver is a U.S. citizen.
As a result, some citizens could appear to be non citizens now because the DHSMV computer system doesn’t automatically update when someone becomes a citizen, said Chris Cate, a spokesman with the Florida Division of Elections.
“We’re not just looking at the matches from Highway Safety,” Cate said. “We’re doing a secondary assessment here before we send the names to supervisors of elections. You have to consider that a person’s last contact with highway safety can be more than four years ago. Someone could have become a citizen in that time. So you can’t presume someone’s not an eligible voter.”
Cate said it’s not surprising that the bulk of potential non-citizen voters are in Miami-Dade. With 1.2 million active registered voters, it’s Florida’s most-populous county and it has the largest immigrant population in the state. Broward County has about 260 potential non-citizen voters on the rolls.
Christina White, a deputy Miami-Dade elections supervisor, said the county is sending out letters to all potential non voters within 30 days and is asking them to prove citizenship.
The state’s effort to clean the voter rolls are unfolding in a presidential election year in which perceptions of voting problems and potential fraud break down along partisan lines — especially after the Republican-led Legislature last year cracked down on voting registration groups and early voting on the Sunday before Election Day.
Rep. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, sponsored the election law and said he feels “validated” by the state’s actions in keeping its voter rolls clean.
“We need to protect the integrity of the system and ensure that people who aren’t eligible to vote aren’t casting ballots,” Baxley said. “The elections supervisors are going to send any names they find suspicious to the state attorneys, but the prosecutors have bigger fish to fry than this. So the only way to deal with this problem is preventative.”
But University of Florida political science professor Dan Smith, a critics of Baxley’s law, said the state purges could block eligible voters from casting ballots, thereby making the cure worse than the problem.
Smith noted that 3,000 potential non-citizen voters is a small number compared to the state’s 12 million total voters.
“This attests to the fact that there’s very little voter-registration fraud,” Smith said. “This purging can be a real problem.”
To be eligible to cast a ballot in Florida, a voter must be a state resident and a U.S. citizen with no felony record. Those who have been convicted of felonies can cast ballots if their rights have been restored by the state. It’s a third-degree felony to commit voter fraud in Florida.
Neither the state nor the county’s election office would release all of the suspected names, in part because the list contains personal data such as Social Security and driver-license numbers that are not public record.
Of the partial Miami-Dade list given to the Miami Herald, Tampa Bay Times and CBS 4, less than a third of the potential non citizens had voted, going as far back as 1996. About 39 of them are Democrats, 39 Republicans and 26 are independents or third-party voters.
About 13 of the voters cast ballots in the disputed 2000 presidential election, which was decided by 537 votes.
The state began unearthing potential non-citizen voters when the highway safety agency began coordinating with the elections division.
The post-9/11 federal REAL ID Law, which took effect in Florida in 2010, requires proof of U.S. Citizenship to obtain or renew a driver’s license. At first, the state unearthed 1,251 voters. The number now stands at 2,676. The list is expected to grow.
"Someone’s ability to vote is sacrosanct," said Julie Jones, executive director of the highway safety agency. "We’re all working together to make sure the process is valid, but our information is only as good as the last time somebody visited our office."
Jones said that because a driver’s license in Florida is valid for eight years, a non-citizen could have gotten a license prior to 2010 and subsequently become a citizen, but her agency would have no way of knowing.
Others are in Florida on work visas or student visas, Jones said. They can get temporary driver’s licenses in Florida but they can’t vote.
"I don’t think we’ll ever have a completely error-proof database," said Pinellas Supervisor of Elections Deborah Clark. "There are just so many variables."
Pinellas got a list of 36 names a couple of weeks ago. So far, Clark said, two people have provided proof of citizenship, two more say they will provide proof and one person was removed from the rolls for confirming their status as a non-citizen. Thirty one others have not yet been reached.
Anyone whose citizenship is questioned has at least 30 days to provide proof under state law.
"We don’t just take them off the rolls," Clark said. "We send them a certified letter and ask for proof of citizenship."
Pasco County received 13 names. Supervisor of Elections Brian Corley said the first two names he checked were able to prove their citizenship. They live in Ohio and Massachusetts, but vote in Florida..
"I’m just concerned about the end result," Corley said. "I don’t want to be kicking people off the rolls who are citizens."
The whole process spooks voters like Aventura’s Maria Bustamente, 63. She sounded alarmed at having her name appear in a list of potential non-citizens — but noted that while she has an ID card, she does not have a driver’s license.
“Yes,” she said with surprise, “I’m an American citizen.”
Miami Herald reporters Patricia Mazzei and Andres Viglucci contributed to this report.