Republicans and Democrats alike declared at least a qualified victory after the federal government agreed Saturday to allow Florida to access the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements, or SAVE, database in its drive to remove suspected non-citizens from the voting rolls, reports the News Service of Florida.
Republican Party of Florida Chairman Lenny Curry issued a statement saying the federal government had essentially capitulated to the state. “The only thing that overshadows this victory is the reality that our federal government spent nearly a year blocking efforts to ensure election laws are followed,” Curry said in a statement issued Saturday evening. But Democratic Congressman Ted Deutch, speaking shortly before the Democrats’ annaul Jefferson-Jackson fundraising dinner, said the requirement that state officials submit individual identifiers required to use the SAVE database could curb Gov. Rick Scott’s sweep of the voting rolls. Deutch said fewer than the 180,000 names that the state initially identified as suspected non-citizens would likely be reviewed. “This is a check on the governor, finally,” Deutch said. “And now we have to just demand transparency going forward, so that this system that [Scott] now utilizes is done in accordance with the way that is established.”