More Vote-blocking From the Governor's Office
State Blocks University of Florida Student Union from Being an Early-voting Location
Published: February 12, 2014
JUST THE STATS
APPROXIMATE NUMBER OF BALLOTS CAST IN FLORIDA IN THE NOVEMBER 2012 GENERAL ELECTION
NUMBER OF POTENTIAL VOTERS WHO GAVE UP IN THE FACE OF LONG LINES IN THE 2012 ELECTION FOLLOWING A 2011 LAW THAT LIMITED EARLY VOTING; 108,000 OF THOSE VOTES WERE PROJECTED TO GO TO BARACK OBAMA, WHILE 93,000 WERE LIKELY MITT ROMNEY VOTES
NUMBER OF VOTES PRESIDENT OBAMA WON FLORIDA BY IN NOVEMBER 2012
“RICK SCOTT HAS NO RESPECT FOR THE RIGHT OF EVERY CITIZEN TO VOTE. IT’S CLEAR THAT SCOTT IS TRYING TO STOP FROM VOTING THE YOUNG PEOPLE HIS MISGUIDED PRIORITIES HAVE ALIENATED. RICK SCOTT DOESN’T THINK HE CAN WIN RE-ELECTION ON THE MERITS, SO HE IS TRYING TO SUPPRESS THE VOTES OF HONEST FLORIDIANS.”
– FLORIDA DEMOCRATIC PARTY CHAIR
SOURCES: ORLANDO SENTINEL, FLORIDA DEMOCRATIC PARTY
BLOCK THE VOTE
You needn’t pull out the temporal binoculars to gaze way back to the days when Gov. Rick Scott’s electoral gatekeeper, Secretary of State Ken Detzner, was huffing and puffing on CNN that “the solution [to Florida’s election problems] is that in current Florida law there’s a limit on the number of locations that supervisors can use in early voting. We need to take a very serious look at that and open up the number of locations.” Nope, because that was just 15 months ago, following the disastrous hours-long queue-snaking of the November 2012 presidential election, in which an estimated 201,000 Floridians simply threw up their hands to the sky and said, “Fuck democracy, I’m getting a beer.”
So legislative Republicans – the very same ones that in 2011 voted to limit early voting while Scott was waving his magical purge pen – came back to the drawing board in 2013 to draft Senate Bill 600, an alleged reworking of the election law that mimicked a real rollback of the suffrage cock-block without actually accomplishing much. It did, however, include the caveat that early voting sites could, at the discretion of the local supervisors of elections, be expanded to cover fairgrounds, civic centers, courthouses, community centers and stadiums, in addition to the libraries, city halls and election offices already allowed. Unfortunately – and predictably – an amendment to allow early voting sites at publicly owned educational facilities was shot down, because kids are dumb Democrats, mostly.
And so it was that last week the first shots across the election bow were fired when Detzner’s office refused a request launched by University of Florida students to use that school’s student union to make voting easier for the 50,000 enrolled miscreants sort of stranded on the strange municipal isle of Gainesville. “The terms ‘convention center’ and ‘government-owned community center’ cannot be construed so broadly as to include the Reitz Union,” Detzner’s office said in an advisory opinion. Was it a fair reading of the law? Not even close, if the president of the statewide supervisors of elections group, Polk County supervisor Lori Edwards, is to be believed.
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