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Scott’s voter purge has all the trappings of racism

Miami Times Editorial Department | 10/10/2013, 9 a.m.
Florida Governor, Rick Scott

Florida Governor Rick Scott is at it again — bound and determined to save us from those hordes of “ineligible voters” that continue to break down the doors at every voting precinct. You know the kind — men and women foaming at the mouth, wildly waving their choices for their favorite candidates in their hands. Scott is so convinced that Florida’s voting rolls have allowed “outlaw voters” to impact our elections that he’s started a second push to clean things up. Of course, this time he wants to assure us that this has nothing to do with removing minorities from the rolls. He wants us to forget what happened last year in the midst of a tight presidential election when minority voters were vital to President Barack Obama’s reelection hopes. Similarly, he hopes we’ll forget that among those unlawfully purged were World War II veterans.

Scott has decided to initiate a “project integrity” roadshow, sending one of his minions to Orlando and Fort Lauderdale to answer questions from election officials, and we assume the public, about this new effort to protect our voting rolls from non-citizens.

Critics raise concerns that naturalized citizens, mostly Hispanics, but also Blacks and Asian Americans, will be targeted. And there could be a cost associated with “proving” that one is a naturalized citizen and therefore eligible to vote — to the tune of $680 for an original copy of a naturalization certificate.

A Scott spokesperson says “it’s not about targeting; it’s about upholding the law.” We say that’s nothing more than a copout. Scott claims there’s smoke out there and that we must put out the fire. But from what we can tell the only thing smoldering is racism.