Florida Democrats recently celebrated their annual Jefferson Jackson dinner, the federal government announced the state will have access to an immigration database to help decide whether or not voters have the legal right to cast ballots in the upcoming election.
Floridians go to the polls in four weeks to decide statewide and federal offices on Aug. 14.
Voter purge moves forward; Gov. Scott applauds
The Tampa Bay Times reports the Department of Homeland Security finally allowed Gov. Rick Scott's administration access to citizenship records in the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) database. Scott instructed Secretary of State Ken Detzner to purge Florida's voter database to ensure non-citizens aren't given ballots.
A federal judge refused to stop the purge two weeks ago, giving the green light to the federal government to allow Florida to utilize the resource. Democrats, voter rights groups and the Justice Department all opposed the purge. Judge Robert Hinkle agreed with Florida's right to purge from the list of 11.2 million statewide voters so long as the list of those affected isn't forwarded to local election supervisors.
Republicans applauded the move. According to Reuters, Scott said, "We've already confirmed that non-citizens have voted in past elections... Our state can use the most accurate citizenship database in the nation to protect the integrity of Florida's election process."
In a letter dated July 9, Alejandro Mayorkas said any state can use the SAVE database to verify the citizenship of individuals.
Democrats say there's a Scott-Romney tiff
Meanwhile, the Miami Herald interviewed Democrats at the Jefferson Jackson dinner. Rod Smith, Democratic state party chairman, told the Herald, "We believe [Scott] has become a voice of the Republican Party of Florida. Apparently their presidential candidate must not agree. On 54 trips, I don't think they've gotten together."
Smith was referring to presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney's many trips to the Sunshine State. Of those trips in this election cycle, Romney has yet to appear alongside Scott. The avoidance is the complete opposite of the 2010 mid-term election cycle. The Orlando Sentinel reported in early October 2010 that Romney stumped for then-candidate Scott in a huge Florida retirement community. The 15-minute rally included statements on how Scott will create jobs for Florida.
The Washington Post reported a perceived row between Romney and Scott when the Florida governor touted job growth in his state. The Post reasoned Romney hasn't been appearing next to the governor because of low favorability ratings in polls, around 39 percent. Scott's office denies Romney asked him to tone down good news about the economy in Florida.
The tension between Romney and Scott came in mid-June, despite Scott's endorsement of Romney in mid-April after Rick Santorum dropped from the race. Scott refused to endorse a candidate before the Florida presidential preference primary, according to ABC News.