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Media Alerts - Arcia, et al., v. Florida Secretary of State
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April 4, 2014
  Arcia, et al., v. Florida Secretary of State
Headline: Eleventh Circuit holds the National Voter Registration Act prohibits the State of Florida's attempt to systematically remove names from voter rolls within 90 days of a federal election.


Area of Law: Voting, Elections

Issue(s) Presented: Whether the State of Florida violated the 90 Day Provision of the National Voter Registration Act by conducting a program to systematically remove names from voter rolls.

Brief Summary: Numerous plaintiffs sued Florida Secretary of State Kenneth W. Detzner ("Secretary Detzner") for systematically removing names from the voter rolls within 90 days of the 2012 Florida primary and general elections. The District Court found no violation of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) and denied plaintiffs' motions for an injunction and summary judgment. The Eleventh Circuit reversed and remanded finding Secretary Detzner's removal of the names constituted a violation of the 90 Day Provision of the NVRA.

Extended Summary: The 90 Day Provision of the NVRA requires states to complete any systematic removal of ineligible voters 90 days before federal primary and general elections. In 2012, Secretary Detzner implemented two programs to remove non-citizens from Florida voter registries. The first program utilized DMV records to generate a list of registered voters who previously presented identification suggesting non-citizenship. Although this program was suspended at the end of April 2012, suspected non-citizens continued to be removed from the voter rolls within 90 days of Florida's primary election. The second program relied on the Department of Homeland Security's Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) database. This program also continued to operate within the 90 day period before Florida's general election. The Eleventh Circuit found both programs violated the 90 Day Provision of the NVRA because the methods chosen were "systematic" efforts to remove ineligible voters, and they took place within 90 days of a federal election. Accordingly, the district court's grant of judgment for the Appellee was reversed. Circuit Judge Jordan issued a concurring opinion and Circuit Judge Suhrheinrich dissented.

Panel: Martin, Jordan and Suhrheinrich (United States Circuit Judge for the Sixth Circuit, sitting by designation).

Argument: October 10, 2013

Date of Issued Opinion: April 1, 2014

Docket Number: 12-15738

Decided: Reversed and Remanded

Case Alert Author: Henry Alvarez, Michelle Gonzalez, Kathryn Lecusay, Maxine Meltzer, Colette Peterson, Jesse Peterson, Raphael Sanchez

Counsel: Marc A. Goldman, counsel for Appellants
Michael Anthony, counsel for Appellee

Author of Opinion: Martin

    Posted By: Gary Kravitz @ 04/04/2014 02:15 PM     11th Circuit  

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