Bay County Voter Purge Process Continues Despite Federal Warning

Two weeks ago, the US Justice Department ordered the State of Florida to stop purging non-citizens from voter roles. Some counties have stopped, others have not. Bay County is one of those moving forward with the process.

Last month, the State of Florida alerted Bay County Supervisor of Elections Mark Andersen to seven possible non-citizens on the voting role in Bay County. So Andersen is trying to contact them by certified mail to see if they need to be removed as registered voters. But Andersen says the process isn't just for non-citizens.

"There's a whole number of things that have to occur to get a confidence level that that voter is in fact ineligible and we do that for felons, illegal addresses, non citizens, mentally incompetent..." he said.

With a primary election coming up in August, the federal government ordered Florida officials to stop the process, saying it's illegal to remove voters within 90 days of a federal election.

"Equal treatment under the law is what every voter should expect. But then that key word comes to "voter". Are you a voter if you're a non-citizen? Are you a voter if you've committed a felony and not had your rights restored?" Andersen said.

Right now, Andersen's main focus is the seven non-citizens. And he says several of them have participated in recent elections. And if you think 1-vote doesn't count, just look at the 2006 school board race.

"There was almost, in the neighborhood of 50-thousand voters and that race came down to initially one vote difference and the final was two votes difference between the two candidates. So tell me how important one is."

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