Rock, Paper, Local (cont.): Looming Struggles Over Non-Citizen Voters


[Image courtesy of talknerdytomelover]

The next several weeks could see yet another round of conflict between state and local officials in Colorado, Florida and elsewhere about the issue of checking voter rolls for non-citizens.

Efforts in Florida were just restarted recently when the U.S. Department of Homeland Security agreed to release its Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) database to the state for checks against the voter list for potential non-citizens.

It appears Colorado will seek to the do the same; the Secretary of State is also setting in motion plans to move expeditiously on a similar effort in his state using the same data.

However, there are suggestions that the individuals who will actually implement the program – local election officials – are unconvinced that it is appropriate and may resist efforts to use the database to identify and perhaps remove voters from the rolls. In Florida, local election supervisors announced (after a call with their attorney) that they will essentially put the program on hold until after the state’s primary and are deeply skeptical about whether a purge can be accomplished accurately before the November general.

In Colorado, local officials are expressing similar concerns and are signaling an intent to move cautiously, if at all, on checks for noncitizens, setting up what could be yet another conflict in state that has already seen its share during this election cycle.

Both of these storylines reinforce the fact that even when federal and state officials resolve their differences (or have a court resolve them), there is still the equally significant and potentially more difficult matter of convincing local election officials to go along as well.

At the risk of understatement, this promises to be a fractious fall.

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