Published May 31, 2012
A 91-year-old Florida man who won a Bronze star serving in World War II was told by the state of Florida he must prove he is a citizen or he will be removed from voter rolls, The Miami Herald reports.
Bill Internicola told The Miami Herald he was "flabbergasted" when he received a letter in the mail from the Broward Supervisor of Elections saying he must prove he is a citizen in order to vote.
The letter stated the supervisor's office received "information from the State of Florida that you are not a United States citizen; however you are registered to vote," reports The Miami Herald.
The letter is part of a controversial Florida program that aims to purge non-citizens from voting records before this year's election.
The state put out an initial list of more than 2,600 people identified as non-U.S. citizens. State election officials then compared driver's licenses with voter registration data and found that as many as 182,000 registered voters are eligible to be in the country, but ineligible to vote.
Some identified, like Internicola, received letters asking to prove their citizenship.
On Tuesday, six Democratic members of Congress asked Florida Gov. Rick Scott to suspend the program, saying it has too many inaccuracies and questioning the timing and the accuracy of the effort.
Two of the Congress members, Rep. Ted Deutch and Rep. Alcee Hastings, said at a Tuesday press conference Internicola is an example of the “misguided” program, the Miami Herald reports.
"It’s sloppy, it’s a hurried voter purge and it could have major consequences for Florida’s election in November,'' Hastings told The Sun Sentinel.
Internicola was born in Brooklyn and is a lifelong Democrat and voter, The Sun Sentinel reports.He served as an Army medic in World War II in the 75th infantry division, and won a Bronze Star for his actions in the Battle of the Bulge. He also received the Legion of Honor for his service in France.
He sent in his army discharge papers as proof of his citizenship according to The Miami Herald.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.