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. (Read more early voting stories.)