BRADENTON -- A federal judge rejected a request to block Florida's controversial move to purge potentially ineligible voters from the rolls. U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle ruled on Wednesday that the state can identify and remove voters who may not be U.S. citizens, even if it is less than 90 days prior to the Aug. 14 primary election, as prescribed in provisions of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
However, state officials said during the hearing that they have voluntarily stopped the purge program. State officials had asked local election supervisors to check out the citizenship status of more than 2,600 voters, but the state had also drawn up a list of 180,000 voters that it said were potentially illegal.
A spokesman for Gov. Rick Scott said that the state will not distribute that list unless it can first check the names against a federal immigration database maintained by the Department of Homeland Security. Most counties in Florida had already stopped removing voters at the time of the ruling.
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