Justice Dept. sues Florida over voter purge

POTOMAC, MD - APRIL 03: A sign points voters to a polling place during the presidential primary election at Saints Peter & Paul Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church April 3, 2012 in Potomac, Maryland. Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney hopes that primary elections in Maryland, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia will help secure his lead over rivals former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R-GA). (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Chip Somodevilla

(CBS/AP) TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The U.S. Department of Justice is suing Florida to stop its push to remove what it says are ineligible voters from their rolls.

The federal agency on Monday announced its intention to sue the state. It comes the same day that Florida announced it was suing a different federal agency over the purge.

Florida came up with a list that shows that as many as 182,000 registered voters may not be U.S. citizens. Election supervisors have been asked to check a much smaller list.

The database relies on some outdated driver's license information, and a number of the people on the list of possible non-citizens have since proven their citizenship, according to the state's election department. Opponents of the purge argue that the efforts disproportionately targeted Latinos and Democrats.

State officials have been seeking access to a federal immigration database to verify the matches. But that request has been turned down by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security so Florida is suing to gain access.

Federal officials, however, contend the purge violates federal voting laws.

Despite the state's push to continue the voter purge, many of Florida's 67 counties announced last Friday they would stop removing voters from the polls.