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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Blue Arkansas: Mark Martin looking at voter purge in Arkansas

Posted By on Tue, Sep 4, 2012 at 9:41 AM

MARK MARTINS STAFF WORK: Spreading news of Floridas ability to use questionable database for voter roll purge.
  • MARK MARTIN'S STAFF WORK: Spreading news of Florida's ability to use questionable database for voter roll purge.

The Blue Arkansas Blog has unearthed documents through FOI requests that seem to support his theory that Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin is working on a plan pioneered in Florida to use a federal Homeland Security database — a database highly dubious for the purpose — to purge voter rolls of suspected illegal immigrants.

Martin's antipathy toward first-generation Americans, particularly Latinos, has been well-documented in resistance to providing federally mandated bilingual voter forms and in comments of his staffer Alex Reed in a recent talk in Union County.

I've asked the office for specific plans relative to the database. Will update when I have a response.

UPDATE: Alex Reed, the Republican National Convention delegate who handles press for Martin, says Martin requested the database Aug. 15. But he added: "The Secretary of States office does not “purge” voter lists."

I've asked what use, then, will be made of the database.

UPDATE II: "Review it," says Reed. Cute. Too cute by half.

UPDATE III: "We may forward it to the county clerks." Yes, but, what's it worth given the demonstrated shortcomings of the data?

UPDATE IV: "We’ll have to see after we get access to the database."

Blue Arkansas writes:

This interest centers around access to the Department of Homeland Security’s Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements database or SAVE. SAVE is a government database used to make sure non-citizens aren’t getting government benefits that they aren’t entitled to. It relies on DHS records uploaded from U.S. Central Index System databases that use alien registration numbers assigned at various stages of the immigration process. It is not, by its nature, a complete list of citizens nor can it verify U.S.-born citizens. When Florida attempted to use SAVE records for the purpose of removing “undocumented immigrants” from the voting rolls it resulted in an incredibly inaccurate list of U.S. citizens who were ineligible to vote being purged from the rolls, the targets of the purge being overwhelmingly members of minority groups and Democrats, surprise surprise. State officials were warned about that ahead of time and went ahead with it anyway, which further shows the partisan nature of this voter suppression game. It is already illegal for an undocumented immigrant to vote and there are stiff felony charges that come with doing so or for knowingly registering someone who’s ineligible. This isn’t about stopping voter fraud, which Republicans are yet to provide a single of example of. It’s about suppressing minority and Democratic votes.

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