JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The state's controversial attempt to screen voter rolls found a much smaller number of non-U.S. citizens than state officials expected. It's the latest in a legal wrangling between Gov. Rick Scott and the Department of Justice.
"They are not using common sense. It's all a witch hunt and it's awfully expensive to squander money on witch hunts in 2012," said local attorney William Sheppard.
The state's hunt for illegal voters in a federal immigration database became the subject of several lawsuits, including one by the DOJ. State officials suspected more than 2,600 voters were ineligible but only 207 were verified.
Sheppard said Gov. Scott's push for voter purge was a waste of time and taxpayer dollars. "In a time when I thought that our governor and our government leaders were all saying we've got to tighten our belts, well, they're not tightening it like we do at my house."
So how much money did the state fork over for this voter purge? Action News left voice mails and emails with the Secretary of State's office but haven't heard back.
Duval County's Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland told Action News on Thursday that no costs were charged to Duval County for the voter purge.
State officials said the screening was still a success because it yielded some ineligible voters. Florida's announcement came the same day that it reached an agreement with voting groups that had challenged the purge, alleging it was discriminatory because they said it mostly targeted Hispanics.
In a statement released Wednesday, Florida's Secretary of State, Ken Detzner said "We want every Florida voter to be confident that their vote is protected and not hurt in any way by the illegal activity of others."