Florida’s head election officer resigns in the face of pressure to purge more Black men:

The head of Florida’s elections division resigned Monday amid reports he was feeling political heat over a push to purge thousands of suspected felons from the state’s voter rolls. Ed Kast, who has worked for the state elections division for more than a decade, said only that he was resigning to “pursue other opportunities.” But Kast has told a handful of associates that he was uncomfortable with growing pressure to trim felons from voter rolls in time for the fall election, friends say.

“I’ve known him for 20 years, and I believe he has acted because under the circumstances it’s the only thing he could do,” said Leon County Election Supervisor Ion Sancho, past president of the Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections. “Ed had made a number of comments that the nature and timing of this felons list was not something he was responsible for. I think he felt in good conscience he could no longer be involved in the operations.” Hours earlier, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson joined a lawsuit to force state election officials to reveal the names of 47,000 suspected felons who could be dropped from voting lists, saying he wanted to be sure mistakes in 2000 are not repeated.

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