He had only one job to do, suppress the vote and deliver Florida for Mitt Romney. Despite limiting early voting days and ensuring excruciatingly long lines at polling places, the Gov. failed to deliver. It is days after the election and we still have no “official” results, but the rest of the country, including the national Republican party, has concluded that Obama will win in Florida. Despite the debacle of long lines and delayed vote counts, we should not expect that Gov. Scott will now apologize for signing the bill to shorten early voting.
But an apology from Gov. Rick Scott is exactly what the public should demand. His efforts to suppress the vote began months ago when he had state officials send local election officials lists of voters that were to be purged from the voter registration rolls. Many of the local officials, even Republican ones, quickly saw that the lists were vastly inaccurate and refused to carry out the purge. Gov. Scott also oversaw implementation of a voter picture I.D. law for the first time in Florida history, despite the lack of any sign of in-person voter fraud. The reason for the voter ID law was explicitly stated June 23, 2012 by Pa. House Republican leader Mike Turzai, “Voter I.D., which will allow Gov. Romney to carry the state of Pa., done.” [See the clip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EuOT1bRYdK8 ]. To the Gov.’s dismay, Floridians were willing to stand at the long lines, present their picture ID and cast enough votes to keep the far right from again stealing the Florida election.
Although Gov. Scott may not feel the need to apologize for attempting to suppress the vote in Florida, he should at least be concerned about how all Florida citizens like being viewed as the one state that can’t conduct an election. Days after the vote, we are still waiting for the results. Fortunately for our country, Florida’s votes on the Presidency don’t matter anymore. After the next gubernatorial election two years from now, it is likely Gov. Scott won’t matter anymore either.
M. Robert Blanchard is a former prosecuting attorney, trail lawyer and writer living in Gulf Breeze, FL.