Florida officials warn about fraudulent letter to voters

Democratic Congressman Ted Deutch reacts


This is a rush transcript from "Your World," October 22, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF "YOUR WORLD": Well, I love this state, but what is it about Florida?

Now reports of a letter going out warning people that they might not be eligible to vote. We don't know how many letters went out. But they went under the letterhead of the supervisor of elections office of the Division of Elections. That office has denied they're responsible for these letters.

Ken Detzner, the secretary of state, a Republican appointed by Rick Scott, the governor, said there is simply nothing from their office that would have allowed this.

The Romney campaign reacting very quickly. "Our campaign is concerned with this situation. We're monitoring it closely. If anyone believes that they received one of these letters, we urge them to contact their local election official in the Florida Department of State."

Ted Deutch, Democratic Florida congressman, what do you make of all this?

REP. TED DEUTCH, D-FLA.: It's concerning.

I'll tell you, though, it sounds an awful lot -- and this is what is so concerning -- it sounds an awful lot like the letters that our governor and secretary of state intended to send out to 180,000 voters when he moved forward on this voter purge.

Fortunately, when we pointed out and others got involved to show that there were eligible voters, tens of thousands of eligible voters, that plan went away. The governor withdrew it.

I don't know what this is, but we need to get to the bottom of it quickly.

CAVUTO: Well, this letter apparently states that the person who is getting it has only 15 days to respond where they must prove citizenship. But it`s all bogus and it's all not true.

DEUTCH: Right.


CAVUTO: What is the fallout?

DEUTCH: Well, listen that was exactly the same thing with the voter purge that the governor intended to move forward on. That was also bogus. And that`s why he withdrew it.

This sounds like it could be fallout to that. They laid the predicate for doing it.

CAVUTO: Or it could much ado about nothing. This is not a big deal at all. A few of these went out. Romney campaign trying to get in front of it and say this is stupid be on top of it, end of story.

DEUTCH: Well, it`s not stupid. We don`t know how many went out.

And it's also not stupid for anyone who gets a letter this close to an election telling them that they're not eligible to vote. It`s the most important responsibility we have is to make sure that people in Florida especially are able to cast a vote.

CAVUTO: Can I ask you a dumb question? What is it about Florida and this stuff? Either somebody had problems voting or there are scanning issues or chad issues.

DEUTCH: Well, in this election, unfortunately, the problems first started with -- first started with this voter purge. Then we moved to the problem with the company that...

CAVUTO: But it was also trying to address illegal's who would come and vote and others who had no right to vote and those who were voting a number of times.


DEUTCH: That was the idea, but there were tens of thousands of eligible voters.


CAVUTO: Reassure people Florida is not a mess when it comes to voting.

DEUTCH: As long as we do everything we can to make sure that people understand that that ill-fated attempt at the voter purge was wrong, that the governor gets out in front of that, that the plan that the Republicans had where they hired the people to do voter registration, Strategic Allied Consulting, that where there was a problem there, there was fraud there.


CAVUTO: So, everything's on the up-and-up now. But, right now, we - - this state is swinging more to Mitt Romney. It could change. But do you think that will change?

DEUTCH: Oh, I think, ultimately, the state is going to be won or lost by what happens on the ground.

The Obama campaign has 103 field offices, well-trained professionals and volunteers all across the state.

CAVUTO: Well, it's not working like a charm for him right now. They're behind. But that could change.

DEUTCH: Well, but the polls -- the polls don't show the efforts on the ground. The polls show the people that they talk to.


CAVUTO: Very true.


CAVUTO: But you would feel better if your guy was on top in these same polls?

DEUTCH: Well, there have been polls all over the place.

CAVUTO: There you go.

DEUTCH: That's clear to me. What I do know is that we have an effort to move forward and make sure that people understand the difference between the candidates.

CAVUTO: Congressman, all right, thanks.

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