Mike Ertel, elections supervisor for Seminole County, Florida, said on Tuesday night that the Republican-spawned drive to purge 180,000 individuals from the state's list of eligible voters is flawed. "I'm willing to say the system that was put in place is not timed in the most efficient fashion to build voters' confidence," Erdle said, speaking on The Ed Show. "I think the list [of purged voters] should have been vetted quite a bit more before they were given to us."
Directed mostly at Latinos, African-Americans and young voters— precisely the individuals most likely to vote Democratic— the Republican Governor Rick Scott's decision to purge voters by demanding they prove their citizenship has become a national scandal. A 91-year-old World War II veteran was among those sent a letter informing him that he needed to appear at a hearing if he wanted to be able to vote.
Maureen Russo, a 40-year-old registered Florida voter joined The Last Word Tuesday to talk about receiving a letter from a Broward County election supervisor, asking her to prove her citizenship. She opted to send a copy of her passport instead of attending a hearing. Two weeks later, despite receiving a telephone call from the election supervisor, she still feels insecure about being able to cast her ballot in November.
"The problem with this kind of massive purge. When you do something like this, this close to the election, and you do it in secret, and you do it without double checking, there is no choice but to have errors, to have legitimate people kicked off the rolls," said Michael Waldman, Brennan Center for Justice President, speaking on The Rachel Maddow Show.
According to Waldman, the Justice Department needs to get involved by invoking the Voting Rights Act. "Already, the state of Florida just recently said, 'Hmm, maybe we ought to double-check this before we start purging people.' So, the more people yell, the more of an impact it will have."
"The governor should stop this process immediately... this is a purely political ploy," Rep. Ted Deutch said to MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell. Deutch, who represents Florida's 19th district, adds: "In Dade County, with the largest number of voters who have received this notice, there are people who, by failing to respond, are having their voting status wiped."