Gov. Rick Scott: I was wrongly called dead, stripped from Florida voter roll

Published Jun. 15, 2012

Rick Scott was shocked. He was dead.

Or at least that's what he was told when he went to cast an early vote ballot in 2006 at Naples City Hall.

"You can't vote because you're dead," Scott — who's now embroiled in a voter-purge controversy as Florida governor — recalls a poll worker saying. "You passed away, according to our voter rolls."

So Scott pulled out his driver's license and insisted he was alive.

"I showed them my ID," Scott said. "They let me vote provisionally. I'm sure it counted."

For Scott, the experience helped bolster his feeling that provisional ballots aren't all bad.

Even if actual citizens wind up getting removed amid the noncitizen purge, Scott notes they can still cast provisional ballots.

Those are tabulated after Election Day, assuming they're not thrown out by a three-member canvassing board.

Collier County's deputy elections supervisor, Tim Durham, said about two-thirds of provisional ballots are generally counted in that county. Provisional ballots are rejected when it's shown that the voter wasn't lawfully registered or cast the ballot in the wrong precinct. About half the 35,635 provisional ballots statewide were rejected in 2008, according to the Pew Center on the States.

The state has removed 51,309 dead voters so far this year and is about to remove 700 more.

Sometimes there can be false positives.

It happened in 2006 after a Richard E. Scott died. He was born on Dec. 1, 1952 — just like Richard Lynn Scott, who was elected governor in 2010.