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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Florida wins access to federal citizenship database



Gov. Rick Scott's administration announced Saturday that it has received access to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's citizenship database as a way of clarifying the citizenship status of Florida voters. The state and federal government have been locked in a year-long dispute over the database, known as SAVE (for Systmatic Alien Verification for Entitlements). 

“I am very pleased that the federal government has committed to giving us the access necessary to identify noncitizens on the voter rolls and make sure these ineligible voters cannot cast a ballot,” said Secretary of State Ken Detzner, the state's chief elections official. “Florida voters are counting on their state and federal governments to cooperate in a way that ensures elections are fair, beginning with ensuring the voter rolls are current and accurate. Now, we have a commitment to cooperate from DHS and we look forward to a partnership that improves our election process.”

On June 11, the state filed a lawsuit against DHS for failing to provide access to the SAVE database for nearly a year. Federal law expressly requires DHS to respond to state inquiries seeking to verify or ascertain the citizenship or immigration status of any individual within its jurisdiction for any purpose authorized by law.  

[Last modified: Saturday, July 14, 2012 3:26pm]


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