Florida is the same state that brought you the 2000 voting debacle and the Republican dominated politics of the current state embrace the benefits of that mess. Jeb Bush fixed the mess with two weeks of early voting and Charlie Crist kept it fixed. The Republicans in Florida liked the results of the mess so they re-created it and ran with the ball…
Mike Bennett (R-Bradenton) was just voted in as the Manatee County Supervisor of Elections and he is quoted as saying –> “People in Africa walk two and three hundred miles to vote…this should not be easy”.
Miguel Diaz De La Portilla (R-Dade county) is a lawyer and lobbyist for FP&L and is one of three brothers heavily involved in the Republican Party in Miami. As each election cycle has gone by, the number of voters casting early votes was increasing. This increase was not good for Republicans because statistically (so far) more democrats vote early than Republicans. De La Portilla made it so the early voting decreased from two weeks to one week. He just made it so.
David Rivera (R-Miami) advocated for a decrease in early voting but an increase in absentee balloting. Republicans like to use the ballot for 18 year old children and spouses that may not choose to vote and fill it in for them. Miami-Dade Public Corruption detectives and two FBI agents are investigating Rivera’s involvement in financing a losing Democratic opponent, Justin Sternad.
Rick Scott (R-Governor of Florida) claimed 182,000 voters were fraudulent. After investigation by the Department of Justice (which he also unsuccessfully tried to squash) it was found that 58% of the 182,000 voters were black or Hispanic. Only 196 were found to actually have been fraudulent voters. When the long voting lines were obvious, he refused to extend the early voting.
Dennis Baxley (R-Ocala) admitted there was little to no voter fraud in Florida, but, he sponsored a bill that protected citizens from “mishap and mischief”. His bill and the reduction of early voting days combined to make it more difficult for minorities and poor to vote.
Carlos Gimenez (R-Mayor of Miami) closed the doors on voters during early voting despite the supervisor of elections in Miami allowing a 4 hour extension. Miami was the bard of the Nation (again) when citizens endured 6 hour waits to vote on election day and many just didn’t. I think the “just didnt’s” were the hope of Carlos and his GOP buddies.