The 40 potentially ineligible voters identified this week on the Collier and Lee county voter rolls appear to fall all over the political spectrum.
At the same time, the state has significantly increased the scope of its efforts to root out ineligible voters from the rolls, which could increase the number locally.
Of the 27 Collier residents on the initial list, 10 are Republicans, seven are Democrats, one is an independent and nine are registered as No Party Affiliation, according to the Collier County Supervisor of Elections Office.
"Those numbers would be very different if people are routinely voting," said Tim Durham, qualifying officer with the Collier elections office. "Given that most of them never voted, I'm inclined to say it doesn't appear there's anything nefarious or malicious going on."
Of the 13 people on the Lee County list, two are Republicans, five are Democrats, one is an independent and five are NPA, according to the Lee County Supervisor of Elections Office.
"A lot of people register to vote to get homestead exemptions," said Cheryl Johnson, of the Lee elections office. "They have no intention of voting."
This week the state released a report stating 2,600 people on the voter registration rolls in Florida may not be U.S. citizens. The list was provided to local elections supervisors to verify the information. The vast majority of the people identified were in Miami-Dade County.
But now the state is reporting that it is looking at as many as 180,000 potentially ineligible voters for removal from the rolls statewide.
In an increasingly partisan fight, some Democrats are accusing Republican-appointed Secretary of State Ken Detzner of engaging in a type of "voter suppression," the Miami Herald reported. An ACLU official said this week that state officials were looking for cover while trying to disenfranchise voters.
But Detzner's office says he's just trying to ensure no unlawful votes are cast, and indicated the Obama Administration is stonewalling the effort by refusing to share Department of Homeland Security databases to more easily determine citizenship, the Herald reported.
Chris Cate, a spokesman for the Division of Elections, said when matching voter rolls against newly available citizenship data from the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, officials found thousands of possible matches, and began further investigating each one to see if they were likely to be wrongly registered to vote.
The idea for cross-checking voter rolls with the new citizenship data came from the motor vehicle department and elections officials, not the governor's office or the Legislature, Cate said.
While local officials sift through the initial lists provided by the state, Cate said it will take more time to further cull through the larger list to determine which names are most likely accurately identified as non-citizens.
"We're still in the early stages of combing through that 180,000," Cate said. "We have to respect every voter," and err on the side of not purging them from the rolls if they're legitimately registered, he said.
Some additional portion of the full list of possible non-citizens will eventually be identified as likely to be wrongly registered and sent to local supervisors for possible purging. Whether all of them will be vetted before this year's election remains unclear.
"There's not a timeline, we are moving as promptly as we can while still being thorough," Cate said.
Only four of the 27 on the initial Collier list have voted, but not in the last three years, Durham said. Voting or registering as a non-citizen is a third degree felony and has a statute of limitations of three years.
Five of the 13 people identified as potentially ineligible voters in Lee County voted in previous elections, officials said. However, two of them have provided proof of citizenship.
Two people on the Lee County list have been removed from the voter rolls, including one person who voted within the last three years, officials said. Lee elections officials are still awaiting proof of citizenship from the remaining nine.
The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.