Is Florida Barred From Removing Non-Citizens From Voter Rolls?

As discussed in this blog, Florida’s attempt to remove what may be thousands of non-citizens from voter rolls has generated controversy, with allegations of partisan motives being made on all sides. Putting aside the partisan arguments, Florida’s efforts might also violate federal law. Under the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, states are prohibited from engaging in a program to “systematically remove ineligible voters” within 90 days prior to a federal primary or general election. There are exceptions to the 90 day rule (removing dead people and felons), but the exceptions don’t appear to include removal based on non- citizenship. Since a federal primary is set in Florida on August 14, the effort to remove non-citizens from the rolls is clearly within the 90 day window. On May 24th several groups put the Florida Secretary of State on notice of the potential violation of law in this letter. If Florida is barred from removing non-citizens from the voter rolls, expect a large number of voter challenges on election day. READ THIS UPDATE.

Thomas D. Shults, Esq.

About Thomas D. Shults, Esq.

Tom Shults is a Florida Bar Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer. He has represented clients in election and sunshine law issues, complex business and commercial disputes and probate and trust suits. He was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1983 and has maintained an active trial practice in state and federal courts for over 35 years. Mr. Shults successfully represented the Sarasota Alliance for Fair Elections in Sarasota Alliance for Fair Elections et al. v. Browning et al. , where the Florida Supreme Court ruled on the constitutionality of Sarasota County’s charter election law amendments. Mr. Shults has served on the Professional Ethics Committee of The Florida Bar and is the past Chairman of the Code and Rules of Evidence Committee of The Florida Bar. He is a recipient of the Distinguished Community Service Award of the Sarasota County Bar Association for his work with the Sarasota Mental Health Community Centers. In 2013 he was nominated for circuit court judge by the 12th Circuit Judicial Nominating Committee. Mr. Shults has served on the faculty of the Kessler-Eidson Program for Trial Techniques at Emory University School of Law and on the faculty of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy Program for Practicing Lawyers at Nova Southeastern University School of Law. Mr. Shults grew up in St. Petersburg, Florida and is a graduate of St. Petersburg High School (1973), Florida State University (B.S. 1977) and Washburn University School of Law (J.D. cum laude 1982). He is veteran of the United States Army.
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