At a press conference in Washington this morning, Jealous called Scott's actions in suing the Department of Homeland Security to gain access to a database "deeply troubling."
Scott has said Homeland Security is unfairly blocking access to the Systemic Alien Verification for Entitlements Program (SAVE), which he says would provide the most accurate database to pick off ineligible voters. In a letter sent to Scott yesterday, the Justice Department rejects Scott's claims.
"He has seemed committed to repeat the sins of 2000 and to clear as many voters off the rolls as possible in black and Latino and poor communities, " Jealous said, referencing the 2000 presidential election in Florida in which tens of thousands of eligible voters were incorrectly listed as ex-felons who had not had their voting rights restored.
Noting the high number of minority voters in the initial database of nearly 2,600 voters that were said to be non-citizens and were sent to the supervisors of election to be purged (which has since been stopped), Jealous wondered whether Scott's motivation was "racial or partisan and our people are just roadkill?"
He said "we will holler and object either way. The way he's approaching this is beneath his office and is a threat to democracy in this country." Jealous said he will continue to support the Department of Justice aggressive actions against Scott regarding the purge of non-citizen voters, which was stopped when a number of eligible voters were incorrectly listed.
Jealous' comments came at a press conference/conference call hosted by the AFL-CIO in Washington to discuss their efforts to ensure that voters get to the polls and have their votes counted this November.
The Executive Vice President of the venerable labor organization, Arlene Holt Baker, announced that the AFL-CIO will be putting together a voting protection program that includes bringing attorneys into six specific states before this November's election: Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin and Nevada. The coalition, called My Right To Vote, has their own website where people can sign up to be a poll monitor or poll worker.
The NAACP's Ben Jealous says that his organization has always focused on three issues each election cycle - registering voters, getting out the vote, and after the 2000 election debacle in Florida, protecting voters at the polls. This year he said, a fourth issue has been added. That is to fight voter voter suppression laws that the NAACP claims have been passed throughout the country.
Clarissa Martinez-De-Castro, the Director of Civic Engagement with the National Council of La Raza, says her group has organizers in Florida, Pennsylvania and Colorado, Nevada and are working with groups in Texas and California and others to make sure "that our community steps up to the plate and registers to vote."