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Florida Investigating Thousands of Potentially Non-Citizen Voters

"reason to believe that they’re a non-citizen."

Florida election officials are examining 180,000 people on the state's voter rolls who may not even be U.S. citizens.

It's part of an effort to clean up voter lists ahead of the November election. Florida's Division of Elections said it's checking voter citizenship by comparing names in its databases to those of the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, which tracks whether a licensed driver is also a citizen, Reuters reported.

The voters in question are not necessarily illegal immigrants; they may be legal residents, just not U.S. citizens.

"We're going to vet a list of 180,000 people to try to come up with a real number," Division of Elections spokesman Chris Cate said. "We don't want to jump to conclusions without a thorough investigation."

Officials have so far identified 2,600 suspect voters and passed their information on to local election boards.

"These are the people that we have to notify by mail that we have a reason to believe that they’re a non-citizen,” Christina White, Florida's deputy supervisor of elections told Miami CBS affiliate WFOR-TV.

A WFOR-Miami Herald analysis found that about 2,000 of the 180,000 voters under examination are registered in Miami-Dade County. The analysis found that a large number of those suspect voters may have cast ballots in the past -- including in the 2000 presidential election, decided in Florida by just 500 votes.

The analysis also showed that one suspect person voted at least 30 times.

Each person sent an inquiry has 30 days to respond with proof of citizenship.

Florida officials have requested access to Department of Homeland Security databases to further help determine who is a citizen -- a request the Obama administration has denied.

"We've been requesting access, but have so far been denied," Cate told Reuters.

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