Rick Scott, Florida Republican Legislature Used Blatantly Partisan Tactics to Suppress Democratic Votes

Florida Governor Rick Scott has done his best to prevent Democrats voting in the 2012 Presidential Election. First, Scott and his Republican legislature undertook a purge of Florida’s voting lists that was so biased against minorities (who tend to vote Democratic) that  the state was sued by the Department of Justice for violating the National Voter Registration Act. The purge was so overly aggressive that there are now reports of multiple military personnel being disenfranchised by the State of Florida for the 2012 election. In addition, Scott and his Republican co-conspirators in the legislature dramatically cut back on early voting hours in Florida.

Marc Caputo of the Miami Herald has been following voting issues in Florida closely. He has posted the results for how many Floridians voted early this year, as seen in the table here.

Note that Democrats had a very much larger turnout than Republicans for early voting but Republicans had the advantage in absentee voting.

Caputo noted that the changed law for 2012 cut early voting hours back from  14 days to 8 days. However, Floridians responded to the cutback by turning out in almost as big numbers and despite waits of 8 hours or more at some locations, there were 2.4 million early votes this year compared to 2.6 million in 2008.

One of Caputo’s most important observations about the changes in Florida’s voting laws concerns the relative treatment of early voting and absentee voting:

Guess which type of voting Republicans specialize in? Absentee ballots. Democrats do better at in-person early voting. Though more fraud-prone, absentee ballot voting wasn’t touched in the election law Scott signed that shortened early voting days.

What? Fraud in a type of voting Republicans prefer? Yes, there are major vote fraud cases of absentee ballot fraud going on from the very northern part of the state in Madison County to the south in Miami-Dade County. But of course, despite claiming that their voter roll and early voting hour changes were aimed at assuring a fair election free of fraud, Scott and his lackeys left untouched the easiest route to fraud, which just so happens to also be the form of pre-election voting that their side prefers. Their moves now stand as a clear indicator that Florida’s Governor and legislature have no qualms about suppressing the votes of their opponents while enabling fraud on their own side.

We can only hope that the people of Florida wake up to these disgusting tactics before voting in the 2014 gubernatorial election.

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