On Tuesday Kathy Castor joined with five Democratic colleagues from the Florida Congressional delegation in asking Governor Rick Scott to immediately suspend the purge of names from Florida voter rolls in advance of November's election.
But in the Congresswoman's own district, that purge has already ceased.
Craig Latimer, chief of staff to Dr. Earl Lennard in the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections office, tells CL that his office received 72 names from Tallahassee labeled as "noncitizens" on April 13. The SOE's office then sent certified letters to those citizens informing them that they were ineligible to vote, adding that if they disputed that claim, they could come to the SOE's office to prove otherwise.
Latimer says that five people came to the office with their birth certificates proving they were born in the U.S. Another citizen came with a passport that also indicated U.S. citizenship.
"So at that point it was obvious it wasn't very credible and reliable information, so we suspended any further action."
State election officials say they're trying to insure that noncitizens — those who aren't eligible to vote — are purged before the election. Castor and the other Democrats say they agree that the right to vote should be reserved only to those who are eligible.
The problem is however, that the state is purging those who are citizens, fueling the passions of Democrats who have seen this movie before.
One such voter is Bill Internicola, a 91-year-old Brooklyn native who fought in World War II and lives in Broward County. He has voted in Florida for 14 years without a problem. But at a news conference in South Florida on Tuesday, Internicola revealed that he had received a letter from his local Supervisor of Elections office declaring that he was not a U.S. citizen. He was given the option of requesting a meeting with his local supervisor of elections.