Florida Gains Access to Homeland Security Data to Check Legal Status

The federal government agreed Saturday to allow Florida to use a Homeland Security database to check whether people are legally allowed to vote if they are suspected of not being naturalized U.S. citizens. Florida Gov. Rick Scott has challenged the current voting-rights law, saying that noncitizens have tried to vote (legal immigrants can vote only if they become naturalized U.S. citizens). The Obama administration had denied Florida’s request for months—voting-rights groups have maintained that the agreement uses the database not for the use it is intended—and Republicans count it as a victory in their fight to combat voter fraud. But Democrats have accused Republicans of attempting to suppress voting by people in lower socioeconomic groups who tend to vote Democratic—and with the new law coming just four months before Election Day, it could leave insufficient time to correct any errors in the system.