Florida’s senior current elected statesman will give the following remarks later today on the Senate floor with regards to Rick Scott’s voter purge:
“As I was heading to the Capitol this morning, I couldn’t help but think about the jolting news from my state: the Justice Department will sue Florida over its purge of voting rolls.
Being a native Floridian whose family came to Florida 183 years ago, and having served the people of my state for years, I simply cannot believe the State of Florida would deliberately make it more difficult for lawful citizens to vote. But the governor did sign the new law last summer to reduce early voting days and blunt voter registration drives. Then he launched this massive purge of the voter rolls – hunting for suspected non-citizens. And in so doing, he’s now defying federal authorities who say you cannot conduct a purge of voter rolls so close to an election.
The governor and his administration should ensure the credibility of our voter rolls. It should have a program to suppress fraud. But above all else, the state must ensure that every lawful citizen who has the right to vote can do so without impediment. It was a long time ago, but something Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said about voting rights seems appropriate again. Dr. King said, “The denial of this sacred right is a tragic betrayal of the highest mandates of our democratic traditions. It is democracy turned upside down.”
I hope the governor will heed those words. “
Nelson’s entry into this battle comes as he seeks re-election to a third Senate term, most likely against GOP lightweight Rep. Connie Mack I. Nelson’s stands to be hurt by any voter purge, but he is still being much more aggressive and articulate on this serious issue than any other current elected Florida Democrat facing a competitive Republican challenge this year. Nelson’s personal popularity and credibility as a non-partisan spokesman for Florida’s citizens will put Scott on the defensive. While Nelson’s voting record cannot be classified as moderate (he’s become a liberal Democrat perhaps not rhetorically but based on his Senate votes since his landslide 2006 re-election) Florida’s Senior Senator has always had a feel of fatherly moderate native Floridian to him. Republicans must be weary of this development and Nelson throwing his considerable weight behind DOJ’s efforts.
What do our readers think of this development in the growing controversy over the voter purge?