This has EVERYTHING to do with the fact that Florida is a swing state. This has everything to do with stopping citizens from being able to vote. This has EVERYTHING to do with voter supression. Denying your countrymen their right to a vote, brought to you by the Republican Party.
. . . in this election, “Governor Scott wants to play the role of Katherine Harris.”Katherine Harris, of course, was the Florida Secretary of State who helped George W. Bush "win" Florida and the Presidential election of 2000 after Bush v Gore was decided 5-4 by the Supreme Court in the most activist thing any American court had ever done at the time. According to ThinkProgress.org one estimate from 2000 said that 7,000 voters were wrongfully removed from the rolls of eligible voters, 88% of whom were African-American. Al Gore won 92% of the African-American vote in Florida in 2000
I remember the before times when George W. Bush wasn't Presidenting yet and America had never heard of a hanging chad. If not for a few hundred votes in Florida and a few thousand more who were pushed off the voter rolls "by accident" this might be a very different country, a very different world. Am I alone in the thought that preventing your fellow countryman from having the right to vote is as Un-American as it gets?
More below the fold . . .
The quote above comes from Florida Congressman Ted Deutch who spoke with ThinkProgress on this subject
Florida Congressman Ted Deutch (D) told ThinkProgress today that Gov. Rick Scott was engaging in a “blatant attempt to supress voter turnout.” Scott is currently involved in a massive effort to purge up to 180,000 from the voting rolls. The list, purportedly of non-citizens, has proven unreliable. Earlier this week, Seminole County Supervisor of Elections Mike Ertel, a Republican, posted a picture on Twitter of a voter on the list falsely identified as ineligible, with his passport.Quickly, Congressman Deutch drafted a sternly worded letter, which he will send to Governor Rick Scott after encouraging other Florida representatives to sign on it with him. The dreaded sternly worded letter is like a slap in the face before a duel in politics, except that instead of having a duel you send more letters and have press conferences and media appearances until the problem you were discussing gets worse and a new problem knocks it off the news cycle, but never mind that, Ted Deutch is doing the right thing and I hope he follows through on it, because the right to vote is at stake. Here is an excerpt of the letter . . .
Congressman Deutch said that his office has heard from several constituents who have recieved a voting ineligibility letter in error.
It is out of grave concern that we write to ask for the immediate suspension of the Florida Division of Elections’ directive that county supervisors of elections purge up to 180,000 names from Florida’s voter rolls in advance of the November 2012 elections.A rushed process that undermines Florida and federal law is the whole point! Gov Rick Scott wants no oversight and a rushed process. Using voter fraud and fears of non-citizens voting is utter deceitful, 180,000 people is about the population of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
While we all agree that the right to vote should be reserved only to those who are eligible, any process that could strip Floridians of their voting rights should be conducted with the utmost caution and transparency, and certainly not within six months of a major federal election and within 90 days of the primary. Providing a list of names with questionable validity – created with absolutely no oversight – to county supervisors and asking that they purge their rolls will create chaotic results and further undermine Floridians’ confidence in the integrity of our elections. A rushed process will undermine both Florida and federal law requiring voter rolls to be maintained in a uniform and nondiscriminatory manner.
The goal is obvious, the Florida Republicans who control the state government want to make it difficult for people to vote, particularly people who fall into demographics that Republicans are losing by landslides. Coincidence? I think not.
And this is the same pattern we have seen in every state Republicans took power in after the 2010 elections, make it harder for people to vote. You, the voter, must jump through hoops to be recognized by your own government that you are a citizen, but the billionaires and corporations who fund politicians and run attack ads don't have to disclose a damned thing. As if we couldn't just verify each voters social security number? No, instead voting requires identifying yourself and buying political influence does not. Despite all the big money in politics Florida is still a swing state, even though the big money prefers their happy corporate conservative hand maidens by an overwhelming margin, despite all that, all the gerrymandering, all the advantages, there is still a chance that Florida could vote for Obama in 2012, so what does the Republican party do? Do they moderate their message a bit to appeal to Latino voters, or to women, or to African-American voters or younger voters, all groups they are losing by huge margins? Moderate? NOPE! Instead the Republicans will simply make it harder for these groups to vote while pretending that there is no problem. War on Women? Doesn't exist. Massive problem appealing to latino voters? Doesn't exist, nothing to see here. And now you can add to that trying to steal the state of Florida by taking away the right to vote little by little before the Presidential elections even take place, which if anyone mentions Republicans will certainly pretend doesn't exist.
If only Republicans could remember George W. Bush, he would be proud.
Hats off to Rep. Ted Deutch for doing the right thing and standing up for the basic right to vote. I hope many others join him wherever our fundamental rights as citizens to vote are under attack by corporate owned politicians. Governor Scott wants a rushed process with no oversight that will disenfranchise as many voters as possible, because what are the odds that the whole Presidential election might come down to a few hundred votes in Florida again?
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