Former Florida GOP leaders: Voter suppression was reason for new election law

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Welcome to Flori-duh.

In a previous post, Eleventh-hour GOP voter suppression could swing Ohio. And in Florida, more long lines: “Let us vote! Let us vote!”, there was this from Florida:

This is America, not a third-world country,” said Myrna Peralta, who waited in line with her 4-year-old grandson for nearly two hours before being turned away. “They should have been prepared.”

Florida Governor Rick Scott did everything he could to remove people from the rolls by purging voters. That lovely gesture resulted in several lawsuits against his administration. Early voting days were also cut, from fourteen to eight, which severely reduced voter registration by organizations like the League of Women Voters. One guess who was disproportionately affected. Hint: Minority voters.

In fact, former Florida Republican Party chairman Jim Greer came right out and said that Florida Republicans tried to suppress the black vote. He called his fellow GOPers “whack-a-do, right-wing crazies."

Greer has been accused of stealing a couple of hundred thou from the Republican party using a phony campaign fundraising operation. But the Palm Beach Post is reporting that he is suing them right back, saying GOP leaders knew what he was doing and voiced no objection, plus this:

A new Florida law that contributed to long voter lines and caused some to abandon voting altogether was intentionally designed by Florida GOP staff and consultants to inhibit Democratic voters, former GOP officials and current GOP consultants have told The Palm Beach Post.

Republican leaders said in proposing the law that it was meant to save money and fight voter fraud. But a former GOP chairman and former Gov. Charlie Crist, both of whom have been ousted from the party, now say that fraud concerns were advanced only as subterfuge for the law’s main purpose: GOP victory.

Then-Governor Charlie Crist had extended early voting hours by executive order because of the long lines during the 2008 presidential election. He says he told GOP consultants and staffers that he would veto any proposed legislative changes that would reduce early voting.

That was then.

“The people that worked in Tallahassee felt that early voting was bad, ” Crist said. “And I heard about it after I signed the executive order expanding it. I heard from Republicans around the state who were bold enough to share it with me that, ‘You just gave the election to Barack Obama.’

And then Rick Scott got his grubby hands on Florida, and we saw how that turned out. Of course now he's batting his angelic eyes and asking Secretary of State Ken Detzner to check into all those nasty November election issues. Imagine that.

Here's more from Greer:

There is absolutely nothing with their absolute obsession with retaining power that they wouldn’t do — changing the election laws to reduce early voting, to keep organizations like the League of Women Voters from registering people, going after the Supreme Court justices."

But there's also something Floridians can do: Vote the bums out.

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  • cognachas4paws

    DUH is right.  Who didn't see this coming?  I'm glad these people said this publicly but I wonder what will be done about it.  Wisconsin is also now trying to end early voting so we're going to have this fight again and again.  I'm concerned also about the Voting Rights Act coming up before the Court.  That they even agreed to HEAR the case concerns me because that means they are seriously considering the merits of the Act again.  If that gets overturned, I'm going to be very upset.

  • labman57

    Florida had a multi-faceted game plan to disenfranchise certain voters. One tactic was the culling of registration forms, seeking to invalidate applications based on a purely political agenda.
    Targeting registered voters from demographic groups which traditionally vote for the opposition party candidates -- under the guise of eliminating non-existent voter fraud -- is the wrong side of history.

    Florida's bout with electoral bulimia is a policy desperately in search of a justification.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DW7LHDQQLRH5RQG2AGEXP35QGM Mr. B

    Pretty sad when you actively suppress the vote . . . ADMIT you actively suppressed the vote . . . and President Obama still wins the state.

    Not sure if Florida is guilty of simple incompetence or willful maliciousness.  Probably both.