I’ve read several articles about how the evil Republicans are purging the voter ranks in Florida at the eleventh hour in order to get rid of as many Democrats as possible, complete with egregious examples such as that of “Bill Internicola, a 91-yar-old World War II veteran, [who] was born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., and now lives in Florida’s Broward County.”
Mr. Internicola was (gasp!) asked to show proof of citizenship or be removed from the rolls, and he feels “insulted.” Mr. Internicola is entitled to feel however he wishes, and I honor his service, but he could just as easily have felt pleased that the state of Florida is careful that only citizens of the country he fought so hard to defend can vote in that state. No one has stopped him from voting, and I doubt anyone will, since he was able to document his citizenship.
So the outrage isn’t really about Mr. Internicola; he’s just a poster boy.
One objection seems to be that the campaign is being undertaken with little time to spare. I happen to agree with that criticism. I’ve noticed that around an election there are often energetic intentions to reform things before the next election, but then instead of dealing with the problems right afterward, they are somehow forgotten and neglected.
But other objections—that too many Hispanics are targeted, or too many Democrats—are preposterous. Of course any campaign to eliminate illegals from voting in Florida is going to hit Hispanics disproportionately; who else would be over-represented, members of the DAR? Or should it be random, like our stupidly PC method of airline passenger screening?
What would be relevant—and yet I’ve yet to see an article that goes into it—is a discussion of what criteria the state of Florida is actually using to select the people who will be receiving its letter. It is certainly possible that there is something unfairly discriminatory about the process, or something stupid. States have been known to do such things, after all, including the state of Florida in 1998-2006 regarding felons (although the errors in question were actually committed by a private firm hired by the state for the process). But so far I haven’t been able to find anything about what’s actually happening in the present case that might really be unfair, just a lot of huffing and puffing from journalists and officials.