U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is ignoring a developing scandal in Florida where thousands of aliens voters have been identified by local authorities.
The Miami Herald May 12, 2012
Florida’s elections rolls may include thousands of foreigners who might have illegally cast ballots. The state is trying to track them down.
Thousands of foreign citizens — particularly in South Florida — might be registered to vote in Florida and could have unlawfully cast ballots in previous elections.
The potential problem is largest in Florida’s largest county: Miami-Dade, where the elections supervisor is examining 2,000 potentially unlawful voters, WFOR-CBS?4 News reported Tuesday. Broward is examining 260 suspected foreign voters. One suspected noncitizen voter has been registered for about 40 years, CBS?4 found.
Over the past year, the Florida Division of Elections has begun identifying potential foreigners on the rolls in coordination with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, Division of Elections spokesman Chris Cate told The Miami Herald. He said the state has forwarded the names to county elections supervisors, who are in charge of the rolls.
“There will be more names,” Cate said.
The discovery of potentially unlawful voters is sure to fuel the partisan debate over voter fraud and voting rights. With 1.2 million registered voters in Miami-Dade, 2,000 potentially ineligible voters might not seem like a big number. However, it is more than enough to swing a close election in a state like Florida, where the 2000 presidential election was decided in favor of George W. Bush by 537 votes.
And the Democrats are defending voting by aliens:
The Miami Herald May 10, 2012 By Marc Caputo
The political left and right are taking opposite sides over the effort to root out non-citizen voters in Florida as it follows the lead of Republicans in two other swing states.
Amid an increasingly partisan dog fight, Florida elections officials say the number of potential non-citizens they’re examining on the state voter rolls is 180,000, a figure far higher than what was initially reported.
Florida’s Division of Elections said Thursday that it’s combing through this initial, mammoth list of names — which were flagged during a computer database search — to make sure its list is as clean and as small as possible. The state is then turning over smaller batches of the more-verified names to local county election supervisors, who are contacting the potential non-citizens to see if they can lawfully vote.
By the end of the process, the state could send counties as many as 22,000 names to check, one election source indicated, in a state with more than 12 million total voters.
Right now, local supervisors have been sent nearly 2,700 names, about 2,000 of which are in Miami-Dade, Florida’s most-populous and most-immigrant heavy county.
Some Democrats accuse the Republican-appointed Secretary of State Ken Detzner of engaging in a type of “voter suppression.” But Detzner’s office said he’s trying to make sure no unlawful votes are cast — and it indicated that Obama’s Administration is stonewalling the effort by refusing to share Department of Homeland Security databases that could more easily show who’s a citizen and who’s not.
“We have been requesting DHS access since September of last year,” said Florida’s Division of Elections spokesman, Chris Cate. “We can do our checks. But we’re restricted in the level of confirmation we can do. We need help from the federal government. But so far, we’ve been unsuccessful.”
A DHS official would only say in an email that Florida's request poses "a number of legal and operational challenges."
U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Miami, said in a written statement that DHS shouldn’t cooperate.