While the national liberal media, particularly MSNBC, have been eager to portray Florida's efforts to remove noncitizens from its voter rolls as a "purge" that is really motivated by partisan attempts at "voter suppression," the Miami Herald reporter who's been covering the story as it develops seems to see it quite differently than his colleagues.
The fight between the state and federal government is but one battle in the war over voting rights and voting integrity in the nation’s most important swing state, where the scars of voting irregularities were magnified in the 2000 elections.
Liberals accuse Scott of “voter suppression;” conservatives say the Obama administration is allowing “voter fraud.”
So far, there’s less evidence of suppression and more evidence of fraud.
The number of noncitizens who are on the rolls or appear to have cast unlawful ballots grows by the day. And there’s no evidence yet that any lawful voter has been kicked off the rolls. Still, it’s tough to prove if someone actually cast an illegal ballot.
Consider the case of Andre Fiset, a 59-year-old noncitizen from Quebec who lives in Hollywood. Records show he voted before 2006 — far back enough that no records survive to show if he actually signed in and cast a ballot at the polls. He said he didn’t.
“I don’t know what this is about,” Fiset said. “I didn’t vote. They keep sending me voter cards, but I never voted.”
He was removed last week from the voter rolls. It’s a state and federal felony for noncitizens to register as voters or cast ballots.
About 87 percent of those listed as potential noncitizens are minorities, a Miami Herald analysis showed. Hispanics and Haitians are Florida’s largest immigrant group. So any search of noncitizens will disproportionately target them.
Caputo was a guest on the June 5 edition of MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports, where he noted that some 13 people have been removed from the state's voter rolls after confessing that, yes, they in fact were not U.S. citizens.
I'll keep an eye out for Caputo making future appearances on MSNBC, but I'm not holding my breath, especially when it comes to Martin Bashir's program, given his propensity to compare the voter roll cleanup effort to a Stalinesque purge.