The Tampa Bay Times compares Scott’s defiance of the Justice Department’s request to stop purging voter rolls to George Wallace preventing blacks from registering at the University of Mississippi (via Political Wire).
Gov. Scott, we do not believe you share Wallace’s hateful views on race. Nor are we equating young African-American students of the ’60s with noncitizens of today. But it was wrong then to deny those students their right to a public education, and it is wrong now to use an inaccurate database that could deprive U.S. citizens of their right to vote. Of nearly 2,700 voters the state identified as potentially ineligible because they were not citizens, hundreds already have proven they are citizens. Only a handful have been confirmed as noncitizens, and many Floridians who are citizens stand to lose their voting rights by not responding to threatening letters from elections officials. The practical result disproportionately affects poor and minority residents and prevents them from voting in much the same way that black students were denied entry to public schools and universities in Alabama.
Wallace spoke of states’ rights and defended the indefensible by portraying the federal government as the enemy. Your administration’s intemperate letter to the Justice Department strikes a similar tone. The rights of U.S. citizens to vote in Florida elections should not be compromised by your continuing political fights with the Obama administration.