Voting Rights Watch: Controversy intensifies over Florida voter ID requirements

A conflict has arisen in Florida between elections supervisors and the Secretary of State over how to deal with new voters whose registration hasn't been verified.

The supervisors' attorney issued a memo earlier this week instructing them to ignore the orders handed down by Secretary of State Kurt Browning about the "no match, no vote" law Browning put into effect last month, the Palm Beach Post reports. The law says that the personal identification of voters registered after Sept. 8 must identically match state or federal databases. If it doesn't, would-be voters must cast provisional ballots and then have 48 hours to provide a driver's license or Social Security card to the elections supervisor in order for their vote to count:
But Ron Labasky, who represents the Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections, wrote in a legal opinion that "the verification could be accomplished at the polling place, thereby obviating any need for the voter to take any further actions."
Labasky and Browning have different interpretations of a federal judge's ruling on the law, which was challenged by groups including the NAACP and League of Women Voters. The judge who upheld the law said there was no undue burden on voters because they're not required to actually travel to the election supervisor's office. But Browning, a Republican, has maintained that verification can't take place at the polls and must be completed later at the supervisor's office -- either in person, or by fax or e-mail.

As we've reported previously, Florida and other states are matching the names in their new centralized voter databases against Social Security numbers and other criteria. The problem is, the databases are notoriously plagued with errors, putting fully qualified voters at serious risk of disenfranchisement.