Published: July 16, 2012
OLYMPIA, Wash. – The federal government is expanding access to an immigration database so that several states can use it to cleanse voter rolls, officials said Monday.
Homeland Security Department representatives first notified Florida officials last week that they could check to see if registered voters are actually noncitizens who should not be eligible to cast a ballot. State officials said Monday that the department is now offering similar access to other states who had been requesting the information.
“I’m pleased that DHS has agreed to work with states to verify the citizenship of people on the voter rolls and help reduce our vulnerability,” said Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler, who had renewed his request for the data last week, writing a letter with the support of several other states.
Elections leaders in Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, New Mexico, Ohio and Utah had signed onto Gessler’s request. Five of the states — Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, New Mexico and Ohio — are expected to be competitive in the 2012 presidential race. Each of the election chiefs in those states are Republican.