After weeks of legal skirmishing between the state of Florida and the federal government, Governor Rick Scott's (R-FL) administration has gained access to a Homeland Security database they plan to use for purging their voter rolls. On Saturday, Reuters reported that, thanks to an agreement between the state and the Department of Homeland Security, Florida election officials will now be able to use the cross-check the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements database with their voter rolls to make sure that no non-citizens are registered to vote.
In early June, Scott's administration filed a lawsuit against the federal government in an attempt to gain access to the SAVE database. The United States Justice Department has filed a separate suit against the state of Florida over alleged impropriety regarding the voter purge.
MSNBC's Al Sharpton said that he had "civil liberties questions" about the agreement, but also expressed ambivalence about its ultimate consequences.
"At one level, if the data is there, it gives them no reason to try these voter purges where we were finding people who were, in fact, citizens," he said. "Now they're using actual data. On another level, you're dealing with the civil liberties violation of those that might be in the data."