Florida Governor Rick Scott is spearheading a controversial effort in the Sunshine State to purge non-citizens from voter rolls. The action has drawn the ire of the Justice Department which argues the process violates the 1965 Voting Rights Act and the 1993 National Voter Registration Act. In a report from The Miami Herald Friday, the governor says he was inspired to move forward with the policy after recalling a near-death experience at a polling place--so to say--back in 2006.
“I showed them my ID,” Governor Scott said describing his actions after surprisingly being told at Naples City Hall in 2006 that he was dead, and could not vote. The poll worker at the time told a shocked Scott that voter rolls indicated he had passed away. After presenting his drivers license in the flesh, the future governor was allowed to cast a provisional ballot.
Investigation from the Herald reveals that Scott's vote was in deed counted that year--twice actually, according to Collier County voting records.
Election officials had received a Social Security Death Index Death Record that said Richard E. Scott had died on January 27, 2006. The future governor, Richard L. Scott, had the same birthday as the deceased causing the confusion.
Collier County election officials told Reuters that they had never heard of another occasion when someone was mistakenly removed from voter rolls for being deceased.
“They didn’t ask me the next time I voted,” Scott told the Herald. “So I guess I’m not dead any longer.”
Spokesman Lane Wright tells Reuters that the incident has underscored the governor's contention that his push to purge the voting rolls of ineligible voters will not prevent eligible voters from casting ballots. Florida's provisional ballot process allows contested voters to cast ballots and requires local election officials to verify their votes within 30 days.