Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
Oh, Florida. Not again. Steve Beneen writes, Florida's voting fiasco:
Florida has been the center of many election debacles, but 2012 is
proving to be truly ridiculous, even by the Sunshine State's notorious
Gov. Rick Scott (R) and Republican state lawmakers deliberately "cut the
days for early voting almost in half in order to make voting harder."
Whereas his Republican predecessors expanded voting opportunities to
accommodate long lines, Scott prefers to do nothing, even as voters have
been made to wait in line, in some cases, up to five or six hours.
In a work-around to an early-voting crackdown law, the Miami-Dade
elections headquarters will open Sunday afternoon to allow voters to
request and cast absentee ballots in person.
The elections department announced the change Sunday morning, after
the Florida Democratic Party filed a lawsuit in the wee hours seeking to
somehow extend voting before Election Day.
A spokeswoman said the department made the decision Saturday night
after seeing such long early voting lines that the last voter wasn't
checked in until 1 a.m. Voters in line at 7 p.m. Saturday were allowed
And in Orange County — Orlando and its surrounding area
— a judge extended early voting hours in response to the Democratic
lawsuit. Local reports indicate
that Republicans are fighting and appealing the extension, so the
Orange County elections supervisor will ask voters to use a provisional
ballot. [Update: The Palm Beach elections supervisor announced Sunday morning that the county would also allow in-person absentee voting. So did two counties in the Tampa Bay area, Pinellas and Hillsborough.]
for why Republicans would go to such lengths to prevent Florida voters
from having access to their own democracy, the unfortunate truth is that
the GOP has come to believe that the only way to win is to block,
suppress, and obstruct voters' ability to participate.
These Tea-Publicans should do jail time for voter suppression. Oh wait — the Democrats filed a lawsuit, but Think Progress reports that the Miami-Dade work-around may only benefit Tea-Publicans. South Florida County Extends Early Voting — But Only In One GOP Stronghold:
Republican-affiliated election officials in Miami-Dade have effectively extended early voting from 1PM to 5PM today by allowing “in-person” absentee voting. But this accommodation will only be available in a single location in the most Republican area of the county.
Nearly every city within 5 to 10 miles of this location — including Hialeah, Miami Springs, Sweetwater and Miami Lakes — has a substantial Republican voter registration advantage.
The most populous city among those is Hialeah where Republicans, powered by a large Cuban community, have an overwhelming registration advantage of nearly 20,000 voters.
There will not be an opportunity for in-person absentee voting in
downtown Miami or South Dade, where there are heavy concentrations of