Voter Citizenship Verification

Current status: The last written communication I had with Maria Matthews with the DOS was in October. I spoke with her two weeks ago to ask about this. She’s indicated that she has not yet briefed the new Secretary on this issue. Maria indicated that some investigative reporters in SW Florida compared lists of excusals from jury duty from the local clerks’ office (where the juror was attempting to be excused because he/she was not a U.S. citizen) to voter rolls in those counties. DOS staff had used DAVE to determine citizenship status from driver records and Maria sent the list to me to determine whether I thought there were any problems in the system. I confirmed that our process to pull drivers for jury pool filters for U.S. Citizens only. However, we may not have been filtering the list for citizenship prior to March 2008. I also confirmed that the drivers listed as immigrants on the spreadsheet were not in the last jury pull that we generated. We suspect the reporters may have gone back several years. Prior to 2001, we did not require proof of legal presence. We do know that some driver records for immigrants and non-immigrants are marked as U.S. citizens from this time period. In some cases, customers obtained a license prior to that date, then renewed on-line or by mail or phone, which does not require presentation of citizenship (we take what is on file). Notes from September 1, 2011: • • • We were able to match 11.5 million out of the total 12.3 million voter registrants. Out of the 11.5 million matched, we identified 2,259 non-immigrants. Because of licensing legal presence laws, we are extremely confident that these 2,259 are non-immigrants. Out of the 11.5 million matched, we identified 194,648 immigrants. We recommend DOS contract with SAVE to obtain an updated citizenship status for each of these records, as we believe a sizeable portion of this population may have become citizens since their last driver license transaction. Out of the 11.5 million, we do not have citizenship information/status for 21,770 voters. Our records indicate 55,183 of the people listed on the voter registration rolls are deceased. We have provided detailed information to DOS for their handling.

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Maria indicated that she contacted SAVE and is working with them to determine if SAVE can verify citizenship for those we show as immigrants. We provided our SAVE contract to Maria for her reference and also provided contact information. At the last meeting, we strongly recommended that DOS proceed with notifying the non-immigrant population that they are not eligible to vote. We do not have a current status on this. At the last meeting, we discussed appeal processes. DOS was concerned that we do not have a process to update citizenship status through FDLIS without issuing a replacement DL, which means that the voter would incur costs in order to register to vote (or at least that’s the perception).

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