Monday, June 04, 2012

New Florida Voter Roll Purge Conditions

Florida is determined to violate federal law and purge their voter rolls too close to an election. They say they are protecting the election by making sure those who cannot legally vote do not. They do this by coming up with a set of conditions they believe are met by many non-voters, finding everyone who meets them and sending them a letter. Upon receipt of the letter, the person has 30 days to provide material proof that he or she would be a legal voter in order to remain one. These lists are notoriously flawed with many, many people wrongly identified and at risk of being disenfranchised...not that that would be the point of it. I mean, Florida would never try to use partisan shenanigans to influence an election, a Presidential election no less. That would be absurd.

My interest is in the conditions they use. Clearly the problem is not with the process, just with the way they are going about identifying the likely non-eligible voters. Maybe we could figure out better, more reasonable conditions by which to construct the list.

My suggestions:

Dead people should be purged from the list. The older a voter was at the last election, the more likely that voter is to have died between then and now. Ownership of Cadillacs and membership in country clubs clearly skews older. Therefore, anyone who satisfies either of these conditions should be removed from the voter rolls unless they produce evidence that they are on the rolls legitimately.

Felons need to have their voting rights restored and many do not. Our economy crashed in part because of tremendous levels of white collar crime. Wall Street is festering with corruption and where do wealthy financial types retire? Florida. White collar criminals will have made huge sums of money and would be living off of investments made from them. Living off of investment income means (at least for now) paying capital gains taxes. So, anyone who made more than $100 in capital gains in the last year can be suspected of being a felon and should be placed on the purge list unless they provide proof they should not be.

Other suggestions for Florida voter purge conditions that would be more fair and selective than the ones used now?