Gov. Rick Scott attempts to decide 2012 for the nation. (Joe Skipper/Reuters)
In 2007, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist issued an executive order
to restore the voting rights of a huge swath of state citizens: people with felony convictions. Obviously Charlie Crist wasn't fulfilling his duty as a good Republican. He's history, as is his democratic reform. Current Gov. Rick Scott reversed that order, and made regaining the franchise an almost insurmountable challenge
that starts with a direct appeal to the governor.
Those with a nonviolent felony must wait five years before applying for a clemency board hearing; others must wait seven years. "Essentially," the Brennan Center points out, "the new rules give the governor, an elected official, the power to decide who will (or won't) be allowed to vote in the next election."
The impact of reversing the rule is, well, exactly what Scott was intending:
According to Desmond Meade of the nonprofit Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, "Over 1 million people in Florida right now are disenfranchised," he says. Nearly 1 in 3 of them are African American men. If these people were able to vote, Meade continues, "Florida would no longer be a swing state." [emphasis added]
Between shutting these one million people out of the polls, and the purge of registration rolls
that is targeting more than 180,000 people, Scott is in hot pursuit of the Election Thief of 2012 award.