Jim Greer, the former Chair of Florida’s Republican Party came out and said what many on the left have been arguing: that reduced early voting in Florida and other states is a deliberate attempt at voter suppression. A year before the 2012 election, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed H.R. 1355, which reduced early voting days from 14 to 8. Greer, in an interview with the Palm Beach Post:
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.
Jim Greer's voter suppression honesty-fest didn’t end there. Greer went on to say that the measures in Florida specifically targeted African Americans, because they typically vote Democrat:
The sad thing about that is yes, there is prejudice and racism in the party but the real prevailing thought is that they don’t think minorities will ever vote Republican.
Greer characterized his fellow Florida Republicans as more concerned with winning than fairness, saying there was “absolutely nothing” they wouldn’t do to follow their “absolute obsession with retaining power.”
If more within the G.O.P. follow Greer’s lead in outing the party for their voter suppression efforts, we might see some actual headway in laws that facilitate, instead of limit, voting. This will be difficult, however, because voting practices are left to individual states, and states that restricted voting in recent years have largely the same people in power. There have been federal bills introduced to shorten voting lines, but any of these would have to make it through the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.
Still, political will toward election reform that would make a firewall against voter suppression just may be building, and that is quietly huge news.