Tampa Bay Times:
A yearlong stalemate between Florida and Washington ended Saturday when the federal government gave the state access to a federal citizenship database, which the state will use to resume an election-year purge of noncitizen voters.
After repeatedly refusing, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security agreed to open its database to the Department of State, which oversees Florida's voter registration system. The state will now cross-check the names of Florida voters against a federal citizenship database known as SAVE, or Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements.
It wasn't clear why Homeland Security changed course, and the department had no comment Saturday. But the reversal comes after a federal judge in Florida refused to halt purge efforts.
The news is a victory for Republican Gov. Rick Scott, who has said the purge is necessary to guarantee fair elections. Democrats and voter advocacy groups have criticized Scott for the action, saying it is aimed at Democratic-leaning voters in an election year. Some groups filed lawsuits to block it.