The big story the day before the election is that Florida is already making it difficult for people to vote and Governor Rick Scott isn’t helping. There’s a simple reason for this: the more people vote, the more likely Barack Obama is to take Florida, and if that happens there is no plausible path for Mitt Romney to win. And Rick Scott wants Mitt Romney to win. So, in anticipation of the droves of early voters coming for this election, the Republican-controlled Florida legislature reduced early voting from fourteen days to eight.
Four years ago, then Governor Charlie Crist had the exact same problem: an unprecedented turnout for early voting, polling stations that weren’t anticipating it, and lines that rivaled those at Disney Land. So what did he do? He extended early voting hours. It was an obvious, democratic thing to do, and Republicans were furious. They blamed Crist for Obama’s eventual victory in Florida.
At the time Crist was a Republican. He is now an independent that supports Obama. Rick Scott is in no danger of making this ideological shift, nor is he likely to expand early voting with one more poll worker or hour of voting. He offers generic positives about the situation (“People are getting out to vote. That’s what’s very good.”), but the ulterior motives are clear. Let’s call this what it is: voter suppression with the intent to secure a political victory.
Image source: Reuters