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. John N Florida

    Ask Florida voters if they support law enforcement.
    Ask Florida Voters if they expect the State to follow the law.
    The overwhelming response in both will be yes.
    Scott is asking the Supervisors to BREAK the law no matter how laudable (Scott? Laudable? – more like Laughable.) the cause.

    June 20, 2012 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  2. Another White Lie

    Citizens everywhere in the United States suppurts these types of "moves". WHy is Democrat politicians don't ?
    Can you say Voter Fraud ? I knew you could !

    June 20, 2012 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  3. Another White Lie

    My great grand pappy, god rest his soul, has been voting Democrat eve since he passed away !

    June 20, 2012 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  4. John N Florida

    New Age; "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."

    Since the law specifically states that this can only be done in ODD years and prior to 90 days BEFORE an election, could it be that this is 2012, an even year, AND less than 90 days before an election thus making Scott's actions in violation and would also preclude ANY Governor from pulling the same stunt.?

    June 20, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  5. Say Wha?

    It absolutely should not be a Democrat v Republican issue. Only US citizens may vote in federal elections. It's a crime for non-citizens to vote. It doesn't matter who they vote for. It's difficult to see the opposing argument here.

    June 20, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  6. ST

    soundoff (28 Responses)

    @Another White Lie

    Citizens everywhere in the United States supports these types of "moves". WHy is Democrat politicians don't ?
    Can you say Voter Fraud ? I knew you could !
    ----------–
    No one is against the move, what we are asking to know is about the "motivation". What has motivated them to take the action now? And why didn't they take it immediately after the 2000 voting saga if at all they were serious to put everything right?

    June 20, 2012 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  7. SafeJourney

    John thank you for making that clear for all the repubs.

    the law specifically states that this can only be done in ODD years and prior to 90 days BEFORE an election, could it be that this is 2012, an even year, AND less than 90 days before an election thus making Scott's actions in violation and would also preclude ANY Governor from pulling the same stunt.?

    June 20, 2012 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  8. EX Republican

    They must be the teaparty who did the polls.

    June 20, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  9. tee27

    here is the problem Scott is not removing non-U.S. citizens he is removing registered voters and the numbers show, That`s why his own staff refused to do it.

    June 20, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  10. anagram_kid

    Jesus Christ Superstar wrote- They need to stop publishing these polls with silly, inaccurate information.
    -------------------------------------------
    You are correct and I have posted many times that CNN and should include the number of participants in the headline or first line of the article instead of the last – 1697 registered voters in Florida questioned by telephone. So the headline should be About 1,000 registered voters in Florida who have a landline support the purge.

    June 20, 2012 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  11. mamacho

    Only cititzens should vote. I don't believe most people would disagree with that. However, the manner in which this "purge" is being conducted, the timing of the purge, the extreme number of registered voter citizens being tagged to to be purged versus the number of actual non-citizens being tagged gives cause to wonder if this is the best way to do this.

    June 20, 2012 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  12. John N Florida

    Since the year 2000, 37 million votes have been cast in the State of Florida. Out of that, 178 votes MAY>/b> have been cast fraudulently. 0.00005%
    In the tear 2000, Kathryn Harris failed to put 36,000 legally registered voters in to the State's computer system, thus denying those legal voters their place at the ballot box.
    In the year 2000 almost 4000 voters who showed up to vote were denied that right because they were, incorrectly, identified as Felons.
    In the year 2000, under state orders, polling places were closed in violation of state law, too early. Many had long lines of voters, just home from work, waiting their turn to vote. That right was denied them.
    In the year 2000, under the explicit orders of Governor Jeb Bush, Florida Highway Patrol Troopers set up check points on roads leading to polling places in heavily Democratic Precincts, causing traffic jams and searching cars in their lines, some for as long as an hour with no probable cause. Many voters, held up while these 'searches' were being conducted, turned around and drove home – losing their Right to Vote.
    CLEARLY, the biggest danger to voter's Rights and accurate voting in Florida comes FROM the STATE, not from 'illegal voters'.

    June 20, 2012 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  13. patNY

    First, how is he determining which registered voters are non-citizens, and second, how is a wrongly purged voter able to challenge his/her removal?
    Also, anyone who uses the voter fraud defense, is an a-hole, because ithat's just a false pretext being used to purge as many democrats from the voter rolls as possible.
    Florida sux!

    June 20, 2012 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  14. MaryM

    how many repubs are on that voter purge list? huh?

    June 20, 2012 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  15. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Why are they doing this now? Why didn't they do this after the general election in November? Why wasn't this done in December of 2011 before the Republican primary? The timing is a real question.

    June 20, 2012 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  16. DIANA

    It's interesting thta they seem to think Republican's don't commit voter fraud. The only people being purged are Democrats, some Independants, people with Hispanic names, and those in predominately black neighborhoods. I wonder who conducted this poll.

    June 20, 2012 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
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