According to a Tampa Bay Times article published on June 26, 2012, Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner, has refused to release records that he has actually acknowledged as being public records. Steve Bousquet, the Tampa Bay Times reporter who wrote the article, points out that the controversey stems from the State of Florida’s attempt to purge the state’s voter registration rolls.
Given Florida’s pivotal roll in past Presidential elections, it is no surprise that many voter advocacy groups are concerned that the list of suspect registered voters appear to be overwhelmingly hispanic. These advocacy groups reasonably claim they want the records so they can double check the state’s efforts to purge the rolls.
Of course, why someone wants this list of names is irrelevant. They are public record and Secretary of State Ken Detzner admits that he cannot cite any statutory exemptions. And that’s a problem.
Frankly, I’m surprised someone hasn’t filed suit to compel Detzner to fulfill his ministerial duty. They should.
The Tampa Bay Times also published an editorial that deals with this same issue. It’s nice to see a newspaper taking aim at another public official in Florida when he thumbs his nose at the law he’s taken an oath to uphold.