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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Feds expanding state access to immigration database for voter roll cleansing

    Feds expanding state access to immigration database for purpose of voter roll cleansing

    Published July 16, 2012
    Associated Press

    OLYMPIA, Wash. – The federal government is expanding access to an immigration database so that several states can use it to cleanse voter rolls, officials said Monday.

    Homeland Security Department representatives first notified Florida officials last week that they could check to see if registered voters are actually noncitizens who should not be eligible to cast a ballot. State officials said Monday that the department is now offering similar access to other states who had been requesting the information.

    "I'm pleased that DHS has agreed to work with states to verify the citizenship of people on the voter rolls and help reduce our vulnerability," said Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler, who had renewed his request for the data last week, writing a letter with the support of several other states.

    Elections leaders in Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, New Mexico, Ohio and Utah had signed onto Gessler's request. Five of the states -- Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, New Mexico and Ohio -- are expected to be competitive in the 2012 presidential race. Each of the election chiefs in those states are Republican.

    The data work is supposed to help states identify people who may be legal residents but not citizens. Since states can't monitor whether someone has become a citizen, the federal database will allow them to check the immigration status of those people.

    Colorado has identified some 5,000 people that it wants to check.


    The Obama administration had denied Florida's request for database access amid an escalating legal battle with Florida about how it was handling its voter list. A U.S. judge blocked federal attempts to stop Florida's voter review, and the federal government then relented on the database question.

    Washington state has been requesting the data since back to the Bush administration. Shane Hamlin, the co-director of elections in Washington, said state officials aren't getting full access to the database that they had sought but that they were pleased with the development.

    To check against the database, states will have to provide a "unique identifier," such as an "alien number," for each person in question. Alien numbers generally are assigned to foreigners living in the country legally, often with visas or other permits such as green cards.

    The database isn't likely to catch illegal immigrants who may have managed to get on the voter rolls, since those individuals likely wouldn't have an alien number.

    Voting groups are concerned that the erroneous voter purges right now could make it difficult to correct mistakes in time for the election.




    Feds expanding state access to immigration database for purpose of voter roll cleansing | Fox News
    Last edited by JohnDoe2; 07-17-2012 at 10:34 PM.
    NO AMNESTY

    Don't reward the criminal actions of millions of illegal aliens by giving them citizenship.


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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Texas wants access to immigration database to check voter rolls for noncitizens

    Susan Carrol, Houston ChronicleCopyright 2012 Houston Chronicle. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
    By Susan Carroll
    Updated 10:05 p.m., Wednesday, July 18, 2012

    Texas elections officials on Wednesday joined a growing number of states across the country seeking access to a massive immigration database to check voter rolls for possible noncitizens.

    Texas Secretary of State Esperanza "Hope" Andrade sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano requesting access to a federal database that contains more than 100 million immigration records.

    Andrade, appointed by Gov. Rick Perry, is the latest of roughly a dozen Republican election leaders from across the United States to seek the information since Homeland Security granted Florida officials permission last week after a protracted fight.

    Andrade's plans to check voter rolls against the DHS data­base mark the latest chapter in an ongoing controversy over the state's efforts to combat voter fraud. Texas officials and the Department of Justice already are embroiled in a court battle over a Texas law passed last year that requires voters to show photo identification at the polls.

    Some Texas voter advocates worried that Andrade's plans to run checks through the immigration database - coupled with the state's controversial voter ID law - would fuel confusion and discourage minority voters from going to the polls in November.

    "We think this will address a problem that doesn't really exist and will create confusion about a supposed or alleged fraud that - if it happens at all - is so miniscule that it has no impact," insisted Carlos Duarte, the Texas Director of Mi Familia Vota, an advocacy organization. "This is happening so close to the election that the actual effect is going to be disenfranchising people who otherwise should be eligible to vote."

    First request in 2007
    Spokesman Rich Parsons at the secretary of state's office said Texas plans to start using the DHS database "as quickly as possible," but did not have a timeline and could not say if it will begin the checks before the November election.

    For months, the Obama administration resisted granting Florida access to the DHS database, but relented after a judge ruled in the state's favor on a separate issue related to its efforts to purge noncitizens from its voting rolls.

    Since then, election leaders in nearly a dozen states have expressed interest in gaining access to the DHS database. But opponents of the move argue that the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements Program, also known as "SAVE," was intended for use by government agencies verifying the immigration status of applicants for benefits and licenses - not to purge voter rolls.

    Andrade wrote in the letter to DHS that Texas officials had previously inquired about the SAVE program in 2007, but were told it was "not optimized or designed for voter verification." She wrote that she understood that the information in the database should not be used as sole confirmation of a person's citizenship status for voting purposes, but said it will be "one of many important resources for confirming voter eligibility."

    Disagree on problem
    The scope of voter fraud - nationally and in Texas - is a key point of contention over states' efforts to cleanse voter rolls.

    Parsons said the secretary of state had no estimate of the number of potential noncitizens on the state's voting rolls.

    Advocates and some academics argue that the problem is virtually nonexistent, while state officials cite federal and state cases as evidence of a potential problem.

    The federal government has prosecuted more than 100 defendants for election fraud since 2002, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said while defending the state's ID law.

    He said his office had 50 voter fraud convictions during that time, including a city council member who registered ineligible foreign nationals to vote in an election that was decided by 19 ballots.

    susan.carroll@chron.com

    Texas wants access to immigration database to check voter rolls for noncitizens - Houston Chronicle
    NO AMNESTY

    Don't reward the criminal actions of millions of illegal aliens by giving them citizenship.


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