By Jason Sattler

The Only Evidence You Need That The Florida GOP Was Suppressing Voters? Long Lines

November 26, 2012 4:11 pm Category: Memo Pad, Politics 54 Comments A+ / A-
The Only Evidence You Need That The Florida GOP Was Suppressing Voters? Long Lines

For anyone who spent hours waiting in line to vote in Florida on November 6, the blockbuster report “Former Florida GOP leaders say voter suppression was reason they pushed new election law” in Monday’s Palm Beach Post might have them saying “duh.”

Anyone who looked at what happened in Florida during this election can see Republicans, led by Governor Rick Scott, intentionally made it more difficult to vote in order to prevent minorities and other likely Democrats from reaching the polls. Thus voters spent up to nine hours in line waiting to cast their ballots — an injustice that can only be properly labeled as a modern-day poll tax.

Still the Post‘s exposé is important because it details the process that led to the intolerable waits that voters had to endure in order to vote, with testimony from two former, now estranged leaders of Florida’s Republican Party and two Republican consultants.

It all began in 2008. Facing long lines for 14 days of early voting, Governor Charlie Crist issued an executive order extending early voting hours. He did this despite signs it would hurt his own party.

Republican consultant Wayne Bertsch said that GOP identified early voting as a weakness for Republicans. “In the races I was involved in in 2008, when we started seeing the increase of turnout and the turnout operations that the Democrats were doing in early voting, it certainly sent a chill down our spines,” Bertsch told the Post.

In the aftermath of President Obama’s victory in Florida — the first win for a Democrat since 1996 if you don’t count 2000 — Crist says Republicans told him that through early voting he “gave” Obama the election. They wanted him to take away what they saw as the Democrats’ key advantage.

Crist says he refused to limit early voting, but his term ended in 2010.

“I assume they decided, ‘It’s 2011, Crist is gone, let’s give it a shot,’” Crist said. “And that’s exactly what they did. And it is exactly what it turned out to be.”

Under the well-worn guise of fighting “voter fraud,” new governor Rick Scott cut early voting by over 40 percent.

“It’s done for one reason and one reason only. … ‘We’ve got to cut down on early voting because early voting is not good for us,’ ” former Republican Party of Florida chairman Jim Greer told the Post. Greer is now under indictment and suing the Florida GOP.

They also picked up on a tactic that helped George W. Bush win the state in 2000, purging voter rolls. Florida’s Republicans also took a step beyond most of the states engaged in the GOP’s War on Voting with some of the most restrictive voter registration laws in the country. The laws were so tough that the venerable League of Women Voters gave up registering voters in the state.

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The Only Evidence You Need That The Florida GOP Was Suppressing Voters? Long Lines Reviewed by on . For anyone who spent hours waiting in line to vote in Florida on November 6, the blockbuster report "Former Florida GOP leaders say voter suppression was reason For anyone who spent hours waiting in line to vote in Florida on November 6, the blockbuster report "Former Florida GOP leaders say voter suppression was reason Rating:

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  • nobsartist

    We need FEDERAL OVERSIGHT on state voting activities and prison for governors or secretary of states that tamper with elections.

    This excuse of “states rights” is making me sick.

  • rustacus21

    And if the administration is SERIOUS about fixing the election system in this country, it MUST get input from scholars, advocates & workers of/in the system, to formulate laws that not only makes racist attacks on the process more difficult, but also has financial & jail-time penalties for actions which restrict the efforts of AMERICAN’S in exercise of their Constitutional rights to vote. It’s illegal, what went on in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Minnesota & yes, Florida! It’s time to stop this nonsense once & for all, by criminalizing it the way the founders meant tyranny & suppression of Democracy to be in the 1st place…

  • easton

    In my lily white suburb of Easton in Pa. I had to wait only a few minutes to vote, and as my wife has a different schedule she herself had to wait only a few minutes after her work. There is no way I could not wait 7 hours to vote and unless districts filled with white likely Republican voters in Florida did not themselves have to wait then what Scott did was tantamount to treason. People like Scott are a reason I will never vote Republican though I am fairly Conservative (I support social security privatization for example) because people like Scott are fundamentally evil. I would always vote for someone of integrity even if I disagree with their policies.

    • j9russell

      I agree. The Republicans have such a “I will do anything to win” (lie, cheat, or steal the vote), that it is really embarassing as an American. They almost force you not to support them. They really need to find some integrity within the party, or they will continue to loose support.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dominick.vila.1 Dominick Vila

    Fortuntely, their attempts to suppress the vote of minorities backfired and, in fact, contributed to the largest turnout by African Americans and Hispanics in modern history.

    • onedonewong

      45% of the brown vote were illegals

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/AUSZC5O33CHJNLFLNA7WBLRMTA Ron

        You are a LAIR and dangerous to American Values…

        • onedonewong

          Just stating the obvious with 20 million illegals most on the dole

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/EKST7XWARSR7ALLS2VLW7HI7GU Gusto4

        To people like you. all the brown vote is illegal. In the next five year the white vote will be the minority, just kee up your nonsense, you are becoming irrelevant in the process.

        • onedonewong

          No not all just the majority. One thing will never change the greatness of this country will continue via the strong hard working white European decedents. Browns and blacks will always be a drag on this economy and country

      • lagovistadave

        Simple prove it!

        • onedonewong

          20 million illegals

          • lagovistadave

            How revealing a short emotional diatribe, presumably intended to invoke a supportive response from those easily swayed by simplicity and or ignorance. In an argument one cannot imply truth from a fallacious foundation. Correlation does not imply causation. Intelligent discourse requires multiple reputable sources to move hearsay to fact. A reasonably established case must be developed on a foundation of supportive coherant facts not vituperations. You have simply reiterated an unfounded opinion that does not provide valid support for the supposition.

          • onedonewong

            Earth to Bizzaro land 20 million illegals and a Justice dept that REFUSED to allow Voter ID. Their agenda was to allow these criminals to vote

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/ZJ5BBSQIGTUMERPZFALES6HQNY Bill

        Another bs statement from the alternate reality world of the right wing nonbelievers. Do you really pull these facts out of your butt?

        • onedonewong

          Just the result of investigative journalism sine the barak and holder regime refuses to stop this assault on American democracy

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jim-Myers/100001512942781 Jim Myers

        Replying to onedonewong -

        AND JUST WHEN I THOUGHT ALL OF THE GUT SPLITTING COMMENTS FROM THE RIGHT WINGERS WERE FINALLY DONE AND OVER WITH, YOU COME UP WITH THIS ONE!!!!

        Keep up the good work. I don’t get many laughs during the day, so I need as many as I can get.

        • onedonewong

          Yea makes me want to puke in my mouth as well

      • lagovistadave

        How revealing a short emotional diatribe, presumably intended to invoke a supportive response from those easily swayed by simplicity and or ignorance. In an argument one cannot imply truth from a fallacious foundation. Correlation does not imply causation. Intelligent discourse requires multiple reputable sources to move hearsay to fact. A reasonably established case must be developed on a foundation of supportive coherant facts not vituperations. You have simply reiterated an unfounded opinion that does not provide valid support for the supposition.

        • onedonewong

          Thanks for your esoteric response but it doesn’t change the facts that millions of illegals voted

  • atc333

    Perhaps some criminal legislation could help resolve this problem, when such efforts were implemented for that specific purpose, along with setting Federal Standards for all Federal Elections in the future. Governor Scott would then be limited to devoting all of his efforts to manipulating positive outcomes for Republicans in only State and local elections

  • lambypie

    I’m not a minority but my absentee ballot from Florida never got to me, so consequently I was unable to vote. I thank the maker that my little vote didn’t make a difference.

    • commserver

      The question is how many others didn’t receive abseentee ballot.

  • commserver

    I hope that the people of Florida see the long lines and realize what caused them.

  • lambypie

    Wish I knew but like I said all the candidates I was going to vote for WON!!!

  • BDD1951

    In our county we have 35 precincts. I vote by mail, but if I voted in person, I would only have to drive about 3 miles to vote in a friends garage. I live out in the country. The last time that I did vote in person, there was no one there but workers. There is usually a rush before work and after. I ran the election in precinct 32 and no one had to wait. That’s be cause we had so many places where one could vote. We had 4 machines and were hooked up on line, so when the last person voted, the results were in.

  • http://www.facebook.com/susan.sallamack Susan Sallamack

    The evaluation process for those responsible for the long lines, including those civil servants who did not resist implementing the obvious voter suppression obstacles, should include “length of time in line per vote” and they should be demoted or denied salary increases based on those failings. Better yet, firing, but that may not be possible in the civil servant world (don’t know why since it is clear that Post Office workers are able to be fired or “laid-off”). Salaries are paid by all citizens of the towns and counties. Insist upon accountability. In my 95% white town, I just walked up and voted. I don’t think these shenanigans go on in NJ. You know how forward NJ citizens can be in expressing what is on their mind. The rest of country should take a leaf from our book.

    • zeldaq

      good morning susan,
      i’m not sure about your comment on postal workers. so correct me if i’m wrong. the u.s.
      postal service in not part of the federal government. they make the money to keep operating by the sale of stamps, and various shipping costs. i do think that the laws enacted in 2010[i believe] were the reason the postal service is having trouble surviving.
      congress passed laws saying the USPS must hand over to the government 5 billion dollars
      for retirement funds for their workers. since the USPS doesn’t rely on the fed for
      for anything, the fed. should keep their nose out of the USPS’s business. we all know what
      happened to the surplus fund from the clinton admin. that money was supposed to shore
      up social security. instead GWB wasted it. the BUSH admin. left an IOU , which is
      worthless without money to back it up. the USPS has been in business for a long time,
      and doesn’t need interference from the fed. to servive they would only have to raise the price of stamps a few pennies, and come up with some creative marketing on their other
      services.
      i went off track on the voter suppression topic. i just get so frustrated when the GOP
      does things like this. every american has the right to vote. i thank GOD enough people
      were allowed to vote in the past election. i think that the dems. should get involved
      now to put a stop to this kind of unamerican racist hogwash. mid term elections aren’t
      that far awy, and the voter suppression will make a big difference in house and senate
      re-elections.
      anyway, thanks for listening to me rant, and rave, and vent.
      have a great day!!!!

  • howa4x

    What, the party of god engaging in voter supression. All the patriotic Republican denying civil rights? What a world what a world!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dianne-Lee/100000857981424 Dianne Lee

    The Republican strategy overlooked one major characteristic of the human mind. The harder you make it to get something, the more the average person wants it. Why do you think you Mom told you that you’d never get a ring on your finger if you put out on the first date.

    • Mike Funkhowser

      Two more years and we can all stand in line for hours to eject Skelator Scott from the Governor’s office. As a 30+ year registered Democrat, I hope Christ runs against him. It would be a blow out and return some sanity to Tallahassee.

  • jstsyn

    The republicans in Florida would have done better by doing nothing to suppress the vote. They only hurt themselves. Works for me.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/RGOUPZ3JYNMPBVOHLZRCRVRD6Q ivory69690

    if its true , then the ones that did it are breaking the law . and a main law at that the right to vote . one would think thy should be brought to court on charges . a laws a law . if no one is brought up on charges then what the sence of having laws? or can i go uot anf rob a store or sell drugs , even kill some one ? these ppl. broke the most fundamently law the ppl. have the law and the right to vote .

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/RGOUPZ3JYNMPBVOHLZRCRVRD6Q ivory69690

    and whos that bald POS Gov. there or what ever he is . he the onme thaty should be charged or even better 9mm,ed would be better for takeing or trying to take away ones right

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/RGOUPZ3JYNMPBVOHLZRCRVRD6Q ivory69690

    Governor Rick Scott, /// ya thats the bald POS. get him out of office now he brok the law of the land and the ppls. right . impeach his sorry butt . dont need ppl. in office that are there to protect the ppl. and do what the laws say to do . if some ones sells drugs thy go to court. whats the difference with this scott tissue heaD. ok wait till some nut case gose you and shots ppl. maybe these nuts will think first and shot ppl. that deserve it . ionstead of shoting innocent ppl.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/RGOUPZ3JYNMPBVOHLZRCRVRD6Q ivory69690

    Anyone who looked at what happened in Florida during this election can see Republicans, led by Governor Rick Scott, intentionally made it more difficult to vote in order to prevent minorities and other likely Democrats from reaching the polls/// and that bald POS couldnt even get that right hey chit for brains Scott you lose anyways . well ur GOP ding dong party did but ur next on the choping bloxk

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/RGOUPZ3JYNMPBVOHLZRCRVRD6Q ivory69690

    one can only hope that the ones voteing for the GOP DING DONGS got tired of waiting and went home before thy got to vote

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/RGOUPZ3JYNMPBVOHLZRCRVRD6Q ivory69690

    I assume they decided, ‘It’s 2011, Crist is gone, let’s give it a shot,’” Crist said. “And that’s exactly what they did. And it is exactly what it turned out to be.”/// and the GOP DING DONGS STILL LOSE

  • Ayaya Worenwu

    Hopefully republican tactics will not take the great America on third world path! Votere suppression in America? May God forgive Republicans for such behavior.

  • Mike Funkhowser

    I’ve had reason to contact the Fl Governor’s office three times recently. Twice via web comment form and once by phone. In all instances you can request a return response. Well, weeks later, I’m still waiting. I guess if your name isn’t Koch or Rove, the heck with responding to non-partisan issues. Such a servant of the people!

  • http://www.facebook.com/johnny.thomas.52035 Johnny Thomas

    I do not understand how Scott interfeared but theu all had early voting and this should not have happened anyway .So what did Gov Scott or how did he slow it ?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/C22AJV5GXSF4QE3YJY5IGBTULU TSB

    Shame on those republicans, although there really aren’t any true republicans like Lincoln, Jefferson, Adams,etc. is there?

  • 52Buster

    Vote Governor Scott out of office!! He is awful for democracy. Rather than facilitating it, he is getting in the way of it. He is using his office to achievc these ends. How could anybody support him regardless of political pursuasion?

  • marciano3rd

    So Bush II was a fake president??

  • onedonewong

    Requiring a valid picture ID will be requirement by the federal govt come Feb 2013 for anyone receiving a govt check or benefit. Checks will no longer be mailed and recipients will need a back account which requires a photo ID.
    The long lines that people experienced on election day were where??? Why Counties where Democrats were the election officials

    • grammyjill

      Who told you that? The gov. does direct deposit. Don’t need a photo id for that.
      As for the long lines, didn’t matter who election officials were. Mattered who the governor and sec. of state was.

      • onedonewong

        Granny try and open a bank account with out a picture ID let me know what they tell you. Sorry all the precincts with problems were Dem run precincts. Its the precincts that decide how the ballot looks and the number of voting machines and how they are staffed.
        It has nothing to do with the Gov or Sec of state.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/AUSZC5O33CHJNLFLNA7WBLRMTA Ron

    Republicans obey all laws….that they agree with. People who did this should be in prison …

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OTGEIZKCXZKGUOGFIPRFB7NU6A Kennith

    The good old boys stikes again.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JCDYOUQPDL6RBF2WIQY7IHJ4BM batavier

    Let’s make sure that, in case Florida is submerged due to climate change, all its inhabitants are shipped to Cuba….. After all, one good deed is worth reciprocation!

  • 1standlastword

    Rick Scott’s political career is surely over and likewise so many others like him in the “r”epublican stank and bile

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jim-Myers/100001512942781 Jim Myers

    And the Conservatives like to promote Democracy worldwide, while suppressing it here in the United States.

  • lagovistadave

    Full on check mate of the onedungdong. your informational source of life Faux News says that 6.1 million illegals down from 7 million last year because Mr. Obama has actually deported more of them the Mr. Bush who he and his friends made money when they are here.No current statsics on how many might have voted but it would have been very small maybe about the same number of republicans that have been caught so far.Your numbers are not even in the ball park of the crazies. Do you realize that these are the first qualified facts presented in relationship to anything you have said. I actually have no problem having people provide Id to vote. It would actually double the legal voters among minorities and then you would really get your white ass kicked.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/K4UCTK2QUKSSXSINOZN4SEPEIE Tyler

    Republicans didn’t have to wait in line as well?

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