Ex-GOP: Florida Voting Law Was Designed to Hurt Dems

Charlie Crist, Jim Greer accuse GOP of electoral sabotage

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 26, 2012 5:28 PM CST

(Newser) – Florida Republicans intentionally crafted a new early voting law to keep Democratic voters from getting to the polls, according to GOP advisers and former GOP officials. Republican leaders said they designed the law—which added to chaos at the polls—to fight voter fraud and save money, but former GOP state chairman Jim Greer disagrees: Republicans "firmly believe that early voting is bad for Republican Party candidates," he tells 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.'"

Former Gov. Charlie Crist says GOP leaders urged him to change early voting laws during his 2007-2011 term to keep Democrats from voting, but he declined. Gov. Rick Scott then passed the law four months after taking office in January 2011. "I assume they decided, 'It’s 2011, Crist is gone, let’s give it a shot,'" says Crist. But a Florida GOP spokesman denies the accusations and accuses Crist of "speak[ing] out of both sides of his mouth." The law curbed early voting and voter registration in various ways that appeared to disenfranchise minority voters. Democratic officials and voting groups are calling for investigations into the law.

Diana Camacho, left, chants “we want to vote,” after Miami-Dade County closed its doors to voters who waited in long lines for an absentee ballot in Doral, Fla., Sunday, Nov. 4, 2012.
Diana Camacho, left, chants “we want to vote,” after Miami-Dade County closed its doors to voters who waited in long lines for an absentee ballot in Doral, Fla., Sunday, Nov. 4, 2012.   (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
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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. It’s not really a broad-based racist issue. - Former Florida GOP Chairman Jim Greer

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