World War II Vet, Battle Of The Bulge Medal Winner, Caught In Florida Voter Purge
It would appear that Florida’s recent effort to purge its voters rolls of supposed invalid registrations was overzealous to say the very least:
A 91-year-old who received a Bronze Star for fighting in the Battle of the Bulge was reportedly told he may not be an American citizen, in an apparent mix-up due to Florida’s attempts to purge noncitizens from its voter rolls.
Bill Internicola received a letter this month stating that he had to prove he was a citizen or lose his right to vote, reports the Miami Herald.
Internicola, it appears, was caught up in Gov. Rick Scott’s statewide attempt to clear noncitizens from voter registration rolls before the election this November.
The Broward County Board of Supervisors said in the letter to Internicola that it had obtained “information from the State of Florida that you are not a United States citizen; however you are registered to vote.”
Internicola was “flabbergasted” when he received the letter, he said at a press conference where he was joined by two Democratic members of Congress. Democrats allege that the initiative is “misguided” and suggest that the governor is trying to remove legal voters from registration rolls before the presidential elections.
The WWII veteran has since proven to the state that he is in fact a citizen.
The state Division of Elections identified approximately 180,000 potential noncitizens from Florida’s Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. This was later narrowed down to more than 2,600 names, which were passed onto counties for verification, according to the Miami Herald.
When I first heard about this move by Florida I was, to say the least, skeptical. How, exactly, do you determine that someone is not a citizen merely be looking at a list of voters? Certainly there are some listings that can be purged rather easily, or at least should be. I am reminded of when I first started voting when I lived in New Jersey, one of my parents neighbors, a widow who had lost her husband two years earlier, was in line before me on this particular day and when they were verifying her identity she was able to see that her husband’s name was still on the voter rolls even though he’d been dead for two years. How that was even allowed to happen is beyond me.
So, yes, periodic purging of the voter rolls is certainly in order to catch people who have died, moved, or been convicted of a felony that bars them from voting in the future. But it’s completely unclear what standards Florida was even using here or how they even managed to come up with the theory that Internicola wasn’t a citizen.