Voter Purge Over Citizen Status Sours Floridians on Republicans [View all]
Florida residents erroneously subjected to a Republican-led effort to purge noncitizens from voter rolls said they’re furious, and several promised to vote against the party’s presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, as a result.
In interviews with 35 of the 2,625 people the state moved to prevent from voting, all but two said they’re U.S. citizens, with about a third identifying themselves as Republicans and another third as Democrats. They included a Cuba-born physician, a U.S. Army soldier who served in Afghanistan, an entomologist originally from Canada and a taxi driver from Haiti.
The attempt to remove potential noncitizens, led by Republican Governor Rick Scott, may hurt his party in the November presidential election by alienating voters being courted heavily by Romney and President Barack Obama, a Democrat. Three of the past five presidential elections in Florida have been decided by less than 3 percentage points. The state has the most electoral votes of those viewed as competitive by both campaigns.
Among those targeted was Rolando Baster, 60, of Miami, an ear, nose and throat doctor originally from Cuba who said he has been a U.S. citizen for a decade and has always supported Republican candidates. This year, he said, he plans to vote for Obama because of the “trouble” he was caused by Scott’s administration.