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Orlando LE - State of Florida tells 91-year-old veteran to prove his citizenship in order to vote

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
May 31st, 2012
Catholic Online (

A 91-year-old man, who won a Bronze star during World War II, was told by the state of Florida that he must prove his citizenship or he will be removed from voter rolls.

ORLANDO, FL (Catholic Online) - Bill Internicola was "flabbergasted" when he got a letter from the Broward Supervisor of Elections saying he must prove that he is a United States citizen in order to vote. The letter read that the supervisor's office had gained "information from the State of Florida that you are not a United States citizen; however you are registered to vote."

The letter is part of a debatable program whose goal is to get rid of non-citizens from voting records before this year's election. A list was given out with over 2,600 people identified as non-citizens.  Officials then compared diver's licenses with voter registration data and discovered that about 182,000 registered voters are eligible to be in the country, but not eligible to vote.

Some, like Internicola, received letters that asked to prove their citizenship. On Tuesday, six Democratic members of Congress asked Gov. Rick Scott to suspend the program, saying that it has too many inaccuracies. Two of the Congress members, Rep. Ted Deutch and Rep. Alcee Hastings, said that Internicola is an example of the "misguided" program.

"It's sloppy, it's a hurried voter purge and it could have major consequences for Florida's election in November,'' Hastings stated.

Internicola was born in Brooklyn and has been a lifelong Democrat and voter. In World War II, he served as an Army medic in the 75th infantry division, and won a Bronze Star for his actions in the Battle of the Bulge. He also was awarded the Legion of Honor for his service in France. To prove his citizenship, he sent in his army discharge papers.

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