Group asks appeals court to hear case to purge voter rolls

A federal court case isn’t over yet against Broward Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes. It claims she isn’t moving quickly enough to remove ineligible voters from the county’s roles.

The American Civil Rights Union filed notice Sunday that it is appealing U.S. District Judge that found Snipes’ office was following the state’s requirements.

The notice went to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.

The ACRU and other conservative organizations have across the nation of not doing a good enough job purging their rolls of ineligible voters — including people who had died, moved, committed felonies or were not U.S. citizens. And they say that could encourage vote fraud.

The civil rights union said the Broward elections office was violating the National Voting Rights Act of 1993, better known as the “Motor Voter Act.” The act made it easier for people to register to vote by allowing them to do it at the same time they apply for a driver’s license.

The law also requires elections offices to keep their voter lists accurate and current.

Snipes said Monday she is confident Bloom’s ruling, coming almost nine months after the trial ended, will stand.

“I think the judge was very thorough in her review of the case,” Snipes said. “She took the time. She didn’t rush through the information that was shared.”

The ACRU has not responded yet to a request for comment.

During the five-day trial in Miami that ended in August, the civil rights union focused on voter lists that included dead people, felons, duplicate registrations, invalid commercial addresses and “improbably high” voter-registration rates.

But Bloom said the federal law only requires elections supervisors to make a reasonable effort to remove the names of voters who have died or changed their address.

It does not require similar procedures for removing those “ineligible to vote because they are underage, not a United States citizen, failed to supply their legal residence, or are registered to vote in another state.”

Those were pieces of evidence the civil rights union presented that Bloom said “would expand the [Voting Rights Act’s] requirements beyond what Congress intended.”

Also, Bloom said the civil rights union presented to substantiate its claims about Broward County’s “improbably high” registration rate.

The lead attorney for the civil rights union, J. Christian Adams, was a member of President ’s Commission on Election Integrity, which Trump created after claiming that he lost the 2016 popular vote because millions of people voted illegally.

Trump — which was beset by lawsuits seeking to curb its authority — in January after many states refused to provide it with the voter data it was seeking.

In the Broward case, the ACRU wanted the judge to order Snipes to be more aggressive in finding and removing ineligible voters. Voter rights groups have challenged such efforts, fearing an overly aggressive removal process could lead to voter suppression by snaring eligible voters, too.

The Service Employees International Union Local 1199 United Healthcare Workers East joined the lawsuit on the side of the election office because it was concerned some of its members might be wrongly removed from the voting rolls under enhanced procedures.

“The despicable and ill-conceived voter purges the American Civil Rights Union pursued in this case would have negatively impacted the most marginalized members of our community,” said Monica Russo, the union’s executive vice-president for the Florida region, following Bloom’s initial ruling. "We are encouraged that the court saw the ACRU’s misleading claims of bloated voter rolls for what they were.”

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