Poll: Florida voters support purge of non-citizens
June 20th, 2012
09:40 AM ET
3 years ago

Poll: Florida voters support purge of non-citizens

(CNN) - Do Floridians like their state's push to purge non-citizens from the voter rolls?

According to a new survey, the answer is yes.

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A Quinnipiac University poll indicates that 60% of Florida voters support Gov. Rick Scott's effort, with 35% opposed.

On CNN last week, Florida's Republican governor argued that removing non-U.S. citizens from lists of registered voters was a legal necessity.

Last week the Justice Department filed a lawsuit that seeks to stop the state of Florida from purging voters from registration rolls. Attorney General Eric Holder said the Florida program, which would remove names from the state's voter rolls in the key battleground state just a few months before the 2012 presidential election, clearly violated voter registration laws.

Critics say the plan unfairly targets minorities and paints it as an attempt to dissuade typically Democratic voters from going to the polls.

Scott said that claim is bogus, telling CNN last week that "this is not a partisan issue. This is not Republican or Democrat or independent issue. This is an issue that I want, all of us want, everyone wants every U.S. citizen to go and register to vote. Participate in elections. But non-U.S. citizens shouldn't be doing that."

But the poll indicates a wide partisan divide over the issue, with nine out of ten Republicans supporting the push by Scott while Democrats oppose it by a 60%-33% margin. Fifty-nine percent of independent voters support the move to purge non-citizens from the voter rolls and 37% are opposed.

According to the survey, white voters back the move by a 67%-29% margin, as do Hispanic voters by a slight 49%-42% margin, with black voters opposed 56%-38%.

Then-Sen. Barack Obama won the state by three points over Sen. John McCain in the 2008 presidential election. The state is classified as a "toss up" on CNN's Electoral Map in 2012. There are 29 electoral votes at stake in Florida.

"Whether this voter purge becomes a big deal issue in the campaign or not is not clear at this point," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

The push by Scott doesn't appear to be helping the governor when it comes to his approval rating. Only 39% say they approve of the job Scott's doing in office, with 49% saying they disapprove. Scott's approval rating is down slightly and his disapproval level is up slightly from a Quinnipiac poll last month.

The Quinnipiac University poll was conducted between June 12 and June 18, with 1,697 registered voters in Florida questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 2.4 percentage points.

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Filed under: 2012 • Florida • Justice Department • Polls • Rick Scott
soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. GROVER NORQUIST IS A ENEMY OF THE STATE/ConservaFASCISTS

    Gov. Scott is BREAKING THE LAW!!! This is very much a partisan issue. And why is it being brought up in a election year in Florida of all places?

    June 20, 2012 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  2. Malory Archer

    I wonder how that 60% would feel if THEY showed up on the list?

    June 20, 2012 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  3. Thomas

    Illegals dont vote !

    Romney / Scott

    We love to fire people !

    June 20, 2012 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  4. SafeJourney

    60% approve ? Just wait till some of that 60% end up on the purge list. Lets see how they feel then., The List is fawed dummys.

    June 20, 2012 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  5. g

    corporations are people-now only the rich can vote -next women and minorities not allowed to vote–rich white men only

    June 20, 2012 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  6. Joi Gibson

    When asked like that, of course people agree. No one wants non-citizens voting. The issue is, at least for me, the manner in which it is being done, the timing, and the fact that actual citizens are being accused of not being citizens, and the majority of those targeted happen to be minorities. It does not pass the smell test. Even the county supervisors of elections are suspect of this process and many have declined to participate. People who are not eligible to vote, be it because they are non-citizens, are felons, have moved, are dead, etc., have been purged from the polls; however, it has been done in a better manner so as not to put citizens at risk of being purged. I am a resident of Palm Beach County and this is what our supervisor of elections has explained and that is why Palm Beach County is not participating in the Governor's purge. The data he's using is quite suspect.

    June 20, 2012 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  7. Donkey Party

    Florida really ought to change their state slogan from "The Sunshine State", to "The White Trash State". They're not fooling anyone.

    June 20, 2012 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  8. Anonymous

    I have showed up on the list, and I am fine with that. I sent in the proper documents and everything is resolved. I am now on the voter list, and it was a very small inconvenience. As a citizen, I realize that I may have to deal with a few small inconveniences, but if that helps ensure that only citizens vote, then I am perfectly ok with that

    June 20, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  9. anagram_kid

    When all is said and done the governor needs to deliver the final number of actual illegal aliens this purge uncovered and the cost of the effort to tax payers. I think Floridians will find that like his failed drug screening program, the governor is using a ballistic missile defense system to swat a fly.

    June 20, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  10. firecoachk

    If this isn't a partisan issue, then what possible excuse ... er, "reason" ... does Scott have for prohibiting voting on the Sunday before election day?

    In what way, shape or form does that advance either the cause of getting more people to vote legally or the cause of preventing people from voting illegally?

    Surely it doesn't have anything to do with the fact that in 2008, more than 32 percent of those who voted early on that last Sunday before Election Day were black, nearly 24 percent were Latino and 52 percent were registered Democrats.

    How can Scott and the Republicans do something that serves no purpose other than to negatively impact Democratic voters and then look us in the eye and say, "Oh, this isn't a PARTISAN issue, heavens no ..."

    June 20, 2012 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  11. Lunatic's on Parade !

    Once again Florida is going to screw up an election ! Expect hanging chads , outdated machines and other nonsense from them this year ! Who decides to do something like this so close to an election unless they plan on committing some kind of fraud ? They should have done that before the republican primaries took place ! At least it would have looked legit if they did it then ! Now it just look's like they're plotting some kind of fraud !

    June 20, 2012 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  12. Name JR

    I've yet to hear a good reason why insuring our voters are legally eligible to cast a ballot is a bad idea. Who does it benefit?

    June 20, 2012 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  13. Stuffit

    That would be about all of the people that would vote for the most corrupt, inept, incompetent president we have ever had. Now if you could stope the corrupt unions from voting 2 or 3 times in each election, Florida should be good for Romney. Don't worry, Obama somehow will find the way to give the vote to illegal aliens, in fact I think he already has.

    June 20, 2012 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  14. n

    Let the people vote . . . Let the people vote . . . Let the people vote . . . Let the people vote . . . Let the people vote. The republican party is running scared as usual. We the people will decide the fate of this country! . So, Let the people vote!

    June 20, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  15. New Age Independant

    SafeJourney

    60% approve ? Just wait till some of that 60% end up on the purge list. Lets see how they feel then., The List is fawed dummys.

    --

    Sure, you can have a narrow minded view of this if you prefer, and it might be inconvenient to correct. However, I think most people would like to know if someone thought they weren't a citizen or even dead!

    The List as you put it, sure has flaws, like most things in life. The list need not be flawed however, as the Dept of Homeland Security has refused to allow Florida to use the most accurate database. I think given the resources that are used, that Florida is being prudent here in trying to validate their records. It would seem that Democrats are more interested keeping voter fraud alive and well. I've seen no effort, in fact, I've seen massive efforts by the party to ensure that it stays alive and well. This is simply embarrassing to the entire country.

    June 20, 2012 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  16. Jesus Christ Superstar

    This information and this "poll" is false. If "60%" of Florida voters supported this purge, why are MOST of the county election boards not complying with the Governors request? They need to stop publishing these polls with silly, inaccurate information. Governor Scott is SO UNPOPULAR among voters in Florida that he probably won't even be re-elected.

    June 20, 2012 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  17. Michael Murphy

    I dont believe this poll at all. Scott had to rig the poll, he is not above breaking the law to achieve his goals, remember the medicare rip off. He claims this is non partisan but it is only Republican governors doing this so how do you figure that. They are trying everything they can to win this election against the peoples wishes.

    June 20, 2012 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  18. Peikovianyi

    In Democrat precincts, illegals vote early and they vote often. Removing them from the voting process violates their right to be here illegally.

    June 20, 2012 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  19. Jesus Christ Superstar

    Name JR
    I've yet to hear a good reason why insuring our voters are legally eligible to cast a ballot is a bad idea. Who does it benefit?

    It would be a good idea if the Governor was actually going after illegal voters. But they have found 50-100 illegal voters out of the 500,000 or so people on their lists. And again, this would be legal if they weren't doing it 5 months before the election. If they would have done this in 2011 then it wound't be as illegal. But it amazes me how people who don't live in Florida seem to be fine with this, while the people who DO live in Florida hate this Governor.

    June 20, 2012 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  20. DG

    That's not the issue, Scott is purging citizens who are legal voters and who vote Democratic. He's not purging the Cubans who are non-citizens and who vote Republicon. That's the issue. We are all for non-citizens not being allowed to vote. This poll is misleading - of course no one wants non-citizens to vote. REPUBLICON GOV. SCOTT, STOP PURGING LEGAL VOTERS FROM THE ROLLS WHO VOTE DEMOCRATIC!!!!

    June 20, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  21. Al-NY,NY

    I guess it took over 3 years for FL to decide to get to this issue, just in time for the 2012 election....how convenient. Thousands of eligible voters purged and have to go and prove they are in order to find 100 non-eligible

    June 20, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  22. Investment Advisor

    What a unique idea...to vote in the U.S. you must be a U.S. citizen! Have all you liberals lost your minds? Oh ...we must be picking on the democrats and discouraging them to vote....only if they are not citizens or not registered to vote. The same goes for any conservative leaning non-citizens. If the concept is too hard to grasp, we can start drawing pictures to help you comprehend. Get off your butts, quit complaining and get a life!

    June 20, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  23. Darryl

    This is exactly why their after Eric Holder, not for the gun control but Holder went after the supressing of the voters in Florida.The republicans do NOT want Obama to win another election period.They will do anything they have to stop President Obama getting elected for another term.Well, thats not going to work this election.The GOP is Very desperate and everyone can see it.Just look how they conduct themselfs and how Fox news lies and distorts everything.How desperate can you get ? Just listen to Romney, he lies and evades the truth when he's confronted by the news media.And if Rubio is his V.P pick? That will be a joke when the Latinos think he is a traitor already.The republican party doesn't like Romney because of his flip-flopping and they really don't have a choice but to support him because they didn't have anybody else who they thaught could go up against P.Obama period.So their left with nothing more than a wich-hunt on the administration,the Department of Justice and the President.Their just out of luck on all fronts.

    June 20, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  24. New Age Independant

    Lunatic's on Parade !

    Once again Florida is going to screw up an election ! Expect hanging chads , outdated machines and other nonsense from them this year ! Who decides to do something like this so close to an election unless they plan on committing some kind of fraud ? They should have done that before the republican primaries took place ! At least it would have looked legit if they did it then ! Now it just look's like they're plotting some kind of fraud !

    -

    Do you even follow this story? Do you actually want non-citizens and dead people to vote and possibly affect the outcome of an election? The Obama administration is at fault here for the refusal to provide access to the citizenship database. It's hard to believe that so many democrats support voter fraud, yet I'm continually reminded that so many want to win an election, regardless of the methods.

    June 20, 2012 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  25. New Age Independant

    Michael Murphy "He claims this is non partisan but it is only Republican governors doing this so how do you figure that. They are trying everything they can to win this election against the peoples wishes."
    --

    Thanks for making my point. Democrat Governors are doing NOTHING to prevent non-citizens from voting. They are doing NOTHING to prevent voter fraud in their states! Thank-you, the way you stated it was much better.

    June 20, 2012 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
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