The Daily Show: Purge Overkill

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From the June 21, 2012 edition

Here at “The Daily Show,” we poke a decent amount of fun at media figures and politicians, and perhaps at times unfairly so. But every now and again a politician comes along who is just truly terrible and is really deserving of more scorn than even we can dole out in our nightly wise-ass-a-thon.

I give you Florida Gov. Rick Scott. You may remember Scott from his law requiring all Florida welfare recipients to get drug tested, whilst refusing to submit to one himself.

“Governor, you benefit from hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer dollars every year, so would you be willing to pee into this cup to prove to Florida tax payers that you’re not on drugs, that you’re not using that money for drugs?” asked “Daily Show” correspondent Aasif Mandvi during a segment a couple of months ago.

The governor’s refusal meant that Mandvi had to make Aasif Mandvi’s Special Governor’s Urine Smoothie without the secret ingredient.

Anyway, Scott’s cost-cutting welfare program, while dehumanizing those needing public assistance, did save the state of Florida … negative $45,000. Now the governor has turned his attention to an even more pressing issue — Florida’s vast amount of registered, yet ineligible voters.

“Republican Gov. Rick Scott says Florida’s voter purge, if you will, is aimed at clearing registration rolls of non-citizens,” MSNBC reported.

Wow, people who live in fear of deportation yet insist on voting — there must be tens of those. But hey, whatever it takes to get those people off your voter rolls. I’m sure there are no unintended consequences.

“The Miami Herald has been studying the purge list. They have found Hispanic, Democratic and independent-minded voters are the most likely to be targeted by the state’s purge,” said MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow.

Voter purge disproportionately targets Hispanics. Right about now black people in Florida have to be feeling pretty good about themselves. I’m sure there’s nothing being done to keep them away from the polls. It’s not like cutting the early voting period from 14 days down to eight and closing polls on the Sunday before Election Day is aimed at them.

“African-Americans are twice as likely as whites to vote early. … In fact the Sunday before Election Day, there are drives by the churches to get out the vote because the polls are open,” said Judith Brown-Davis of the Advancement Project.

So a voter purge weighted against Hispanic voters, closing the polls on a day many African-American voters cast their ballots — nice try, Scott. But your plan didn’t work, because you forgot to suppress another powerful influx of predominantly Democratic voters: the newly registered.

“Scott signed a new law last year … anyone who registers voters in the state has to hand in all completed forms within no later than 48 hours to the minute after the applicants have originally filled them out,” Maddow reported.

Even though new voter registrations are down 20 percent, this is a necessary sacrifice to protect the sanctity of our electoral process and stop the horrors of voter fraud which, according to the Brennan Center for Justice, occurs at a terrifying rate of .0004 percent.