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Public Statements

MSNBC "The Ed Show" - Transcript

Interview

By:
Date:
Location: Unknown

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Joining me tonight with us here in New York is Congressman Ted Deutch
of Florida.

Congressman, good to have you with us tonight. This could be a game
changer if they follow through on that or am I wrong on that ?

REP. TED DEUTCH (D), FLORIDA: You are absolutely right, Ed.

Look. There is a concerted effort nationwide to disenfranchise
voters. And if you look on what`s happening in Florida is the best
example. We have seen new laws passed it, make it harder to vote. Cut
down the number of early voting sites and make it harder for people to
register to vote.

Now comes this, the governor of Florida putting together a list of
180,000 people and going in to say, if you`re on this list, you lose the
right to vote. We need to address this.

SCHULTZ: This is all about swing in Florida to the Republicans?

DEUTCH: I don`t think there`s any question.

SCHULTZ: Ok. Now, you say that he`s playing the role of Katherine
Harris.

DEUTCH: I do.

SCHULTZ: They`re playing out of the old playbook.

DEUTCH: I do. Look. We are less than 90 days until a primary
election. The governor now has this list of 180,000. They sent out
notices to the first 2600 voters because they are the ones they were
certain would be ineligible. And we have already found - we found
veterans. We found retirees. People you showed that tweet earlier, people
eligible to vote, they are getting notices to say, you know what, if you
don`t respond to this notice and send in eligibility proof that you are a
citizen, then your name is going to be removed from the polls.

SCHULTZ: Your constituents are being targeted What do you tell them
to do? What do they have to do?

DEUTCH: Well, we`re doing - what we are doing first and foremost is
telling the governor he has to stop this. He has got to put a hole --

SCHULTZ: He isn`t going to stop, is he?

DEUTCH: I don`t know if he is. This is an issue that is not a
partisan issue. This is a matter of preserving the right to vote, that`s
what`s at stake here. That`s why we are going to ask the governor to put a
halt to this.

In the meantime, we are getting phone calls from constituents who
point out that they don`t understand why they receive this notice. That
they are eligible to vote. We are telling them that they should go ahead
and comply even as we continue to fight this effort to disenfranchise
Florida`s voters.

SCHULTZ: What should Obama for America do about this? They have the
infrastructure to contact these folks, I`m sure.

DEUTCH: Yes.

SCHULTZ: This is a big national story here.

DEUTCH: It is. And it`s important for the people in Florida who
received these notices to understand what`s at stake if this governor
succeeds. They have to complete this form and send it out. the form says,
if you don`t respond, your name will be taken off the voting rolls.
Imagine if you misplace it, imagine if you show up to vote and suddenly
your name has been scrubbed from the voting rolls. We got to take this
seriously.

SCHULTZ: And the process to identify these voters is considered
flawed, no question about that?

DEUTCH: Ed, there`s no transparency. We don`t know where this idea
came from. We don`t know if the governor is working with outside groups.
All we know is that there are 180,000 names and they tend to be named from
that independent analysis to vote democrat.

SCHULTZ: And you have communicated to the governor`s office via
letter. Have you got any response yet?

DEUTCH: I tell you what we do. We circulated a letter among all of
my colleagues, Democrats and Republicans in Florida to ask them to sign on.
I have a sneaking suspicion that my Republicans may not be - my Republican
colleagues may not be interested. We are going to send it to the governor
and demand he stop this.

SCHULTZ: We will do this story again and again. This is a big deal.
And now, it`s really information getting your constituents to understand on
what they have to do next but also, not to get discouraged. I mean, this
is how these Republicans play the game.

DEUTCH: The whole plan here is to suppress voter turnout whether by
scrubbing the roles or whether by convincing people that it`s just so
difficult. That`s what we have to keep reminding them. They can`t give
up.

SCHULTZ: Congressman Ted Deutch, great to have you with us. Thanks
so much.

DEUTCH: Thank you.

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