The Embarrassment That Is Florida

Filed in National by on November 4, 2012

I’ve reached the point where Florida officials have to admit they’re deliberately suppressing the vote (cheating) or admit they are completely incompetent and resign immediately.

Via HuffPo (and all over twitter):

People are getting out to vote — but many of them are having to wait in line for three or four hours to do so. One contributor to DailyKos claimed it took 9 hours to vote. In Miami-Dade on Saturday, people who had gotten in line by 7:00 p.m. were allowed to vote; the last person wasn’t checked in until 1 a.m., meaning it took some individuals six hours to cast a ballot.

Miami-Dade attempted to deal with the problem on Sunday by allowing voters to cast absentee ballots in person between 1:00 and 5:00 p.m. However, after just two hours, the Miami-Dade elections department shut down the location after too many people showed up. People outside the locked doors were reportedly screaming, “We want to vote!

And if getting turned away from the polls weren’t enough of an indignity, some of those 180 people ended up getting their cars towed from the parking lot across the street, according to a Miami Herald reporter.

And then…

About 30 minutes later, a Miami Herald reporter tweeted that the Miami-Dade location was reopening its doors.

So why is this happening?

A major reason there are so many problems at the polls is that last year, Florida’s GOP-controlled legislature shortened the number of early voting days from 14 to eight, meaning all early voters are trying to cast their ballots in a shorter window. Previously, Floridians were allowed to vote on the Sunday before Election Day — a day that typically had high traffic.

Scott has refused to extend early voting hours, essentially arguing that there is no problem, despite calls from Democrats, independent groups and even a Republican elections supervisor. He is arguing that he can extend early voting hours only when there is a true emergency — like a natural disaster — that warrants it.

Perhaps it’s time to move control of elections to the Federal level, because this is obviously something certain states can’t handle.  Let’s make Florida Department of Elections a ward of the court – after all, how many times has Florida screwed this up?  There shouldn’t be this many different rules (and political games by Republicans) to vote.

About the Author ()

A stay-at-home mom with an obsession for National politics.

Comments (14)

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  1. chlorophil says:

    I’m uncomfortable with the whole idea of early voting. I think everyone should vote on the same day. Lets have more polling places, or whatever it takes, but have everyone vote at the same time.

  2. cassandra_m says:

    The Ohio Secretary of State is trying to disenfranchise some early voters too. In a perfect world, the DoJ would show up to stop the foolishness.

  3. socialistic ben says:

    phil, there are enough people who’s jobs/professions/occupations do not close for them on election day (moms, emts, doctors, firefighters, restaurant staff etc) for it to really matter. you have to let everyone vote, and since it is a basic right of our country, the onus is on the state/government to provide everyone with an easy opportunity to vote.

  4. V says:

    I CANNOT understand why it takes 4+ hours to vote in some states (and always the “important” ones).

    Is this just a lack of available polling places? Not enough resources to state boards of elections? And early voting should be alieviating this problem.

    I know we’re from a small state (and I vote early in the am) but I’ve never waited more than 10 minutes my whole life to vote.

  5. pandora says:

    Well… if you understand that it’s deliberate voter suppression then it all makes sense.

    This is why I always laugh when Republicans say we need to send things to the states. Like I said, either they are cheating or are completely incompetent. Those are the only two choices on the table.

  6. V says:

    well that’s what I think now after watching 2004, 2008, and now 2012 pass with no improvement.

    I just don’t understand what’s specifically being done that makes the lines so crazy long. This seems like an easily resolvable problem.

  7. socialistic ben says:

    with any luck, they will be completely incompetent cheaters and wont steal the election.

  8. pandora says:

    I am in awe of those people waiting in those lines. Perhaps Republicans over-played their hand and instead of discouraging people they fired them up.

  9. V says:

    don’t forget rigged machines and telling people to vote on the wrong day!

  10. cassandra_m says:

    Every election season we have people lamenting the fact that more people don’t vote and then you see stuff like this in Florida and Ohio. We should be making it easier for people to vote, not harder.

  11. Dave says:

    I suppose I’ll bring up (someone does every election and this time I get to do it) having Election Day on a weekday when the vast majority of people are generally at work between 9 and 5 rather than on a Saturday. Some traditions are silly. Ketchup does not belong on a hot dog. That may qualify as a silly tradition but it’s no sillier than voting on a weekday.

  12. Brian Stephan says:

    It also doesn’t help that the legislature in Florida has crafted a ballot 10 pages long (longer in some counties). Add that to shortening the early voting window in a well populated state and you get what we’re seeing this year. 4-8 hour lines and election offices claiming to be “unable” to handle the early voter volume.

  13. pandora says:

    This one’s for you, Dave! Enjoy!

  14. John Young says:

    pandora, I thought for sure you were going to link this: