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Missing The Point

The Miami Herald had an election-related story, that will confuse, not clarify the issue involved.

The headline was: “Florida finds nearly 2,700 non-U.S. citizens on voting rolls” which sounds like there is a problem, unless you read on to discover that they left out all of the qualifiers to that statement, things like ‘possibly’ or ‘might be”.

That enters almost immediately in the sub-head: “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.”

See, the state doesn’t actually know that these people are non-US citizens, only that they might be. So Florida found almost 2,700 people whom it isn’t sure are US citizens.

Now we get to the actual story:

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.

So, what actually happened is that they compared the voters rolls against the drivers license records and came up with a list of nearly 2,700 who don’t have a driver’s license or said they were not citizens when they applied for a driver’s license. That means the record could be up to six years old.

The good news is that the problem seems to exist primarily around Miami, which means most of those on the list will be Republican-voting Cuban immigrants. I would like to congratulate the Republicans in the state legislature for screwing their own base with another of their hare-brained laws.

2 comments

1 shirt { 05.10.12 at 11:57 pm }

So. the state of florida does not know it ass from a hole in the ground. This is not news: Governor Lord Voldemort is in firm control.

Only a state packed with geriatric cases could get itself into such a bind.

2 Bryan { 05.11.12 at 11:46 am }

The problem of retirees in Florida is that they cluster, and they choose to live with like-minded people, so you have dense concentrations of extreme views in small areas that can be utilized to distort elections when the drawing of the election district maps happens every ten years. This is how the Republicans can win two-thirds of the seats in the Florida legislature while being a minority party in the state.

The Republicans won one fairly honest election and changed the laws to ensure the majority party, the Democrats, would never win another one.