TALLAHASSEE — Florida officials, responding to skeptical comments this week from county election supervisors, said they are now going to double-check whether 182,000 registered voters are U.S. citizens.
State officials announced late Thursday that the Florida agency that handles driver's licenses plans to check a federal database to verify the citizenship status of those initially identified as being in Florida legally but ineligible to vote.
The state has sent a list to county election supervisors of more than 2,600 people who have been identified as non-U.S. citizens.
But state officials have also said there may be as many as 182,000 registered voters who are not eligible to vote.
Local election supervisors this week complained to state officials that the original list was based on old information taken from 2011 and that they had already found inaccuracies in it.
The names will now be checked with a database maintained by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Brian Corley, the Pasco County supervisor of elections, applauded what he called "the sudden tenacity" of the Department of State.
During a statewide conference of election supervisors held this week, Corley relayed how he had found two voters on the possible noncitizen list that had been born in Ohio and Massachusetts.
The Department of State has been trying for months to access a federal database that tracks visitors who are in the country but has been turned down.
But the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles — which can access the database — said it would soon double-check the citizenship status of those on the list.
State election officials said they would absorb the cost of the effort, which is expected to cost 50 cents to check each individual name.
State officials said it could take several weeks to complete this latest check.
There are currently more than 11 million active registered voters in the state.
Florida law requires voters to be a U.S. citizen residing in the state.
Florida also does not allow someone to vote if the person is a convicted felon and has not had civil rights restored.