Amanda Terkel's article Charlie Crist: Rick Scott's Refusal To Extend Florida Early Voting Is 'Indefensible' finally reports the perspective on these outrageously long wait times in Democratic areas for what it is - indefensible voter suppression.
Charlie Christ explained why he signed an executive order extending voting hours when he was Governor.
"The only thing that makes any sense as to why this is happening and being done is voter suppression," Crist said in an interview with The Huffington Post on Sunday. "That's unconscionable. I think it's just the wrong thing to do. And the right thing to do would be to sign an executive order to make sure this doesn't happen and you expand the hours."
Scott has denied that there's any problem, saying it's "very good" that people are turning out to vote. Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner (R) argued the current situation is not an actual emergency that necessitates longer hours.
"I did it because the disaster that was happening was that people weren't being able to exercise this precious right that is the foundation of our democracy. That's a disaster," he said. "When you have people waiting in line for four or five or even more hours -- and a lot of them are senior citizens like they are in the state of Florida -- that's a disaster. And it's wrong. And it's indefensible."
Crist said there was no justification for shortening that time period other than pure voter suppression.
But, this article and Chris Christie still fail to get to the root cause of this persistent problem, which is not just the hours these early voting locations are open, but the number of voting machine allocated to Democratic areas, versus Republican areas. The number of voting machines allocated to different areas is the key high leverage point, and this needs a high level Congressional and, perhaps, even criminal investigation, as the same problems are happening in the same areas election after election.
Failure to allocate sufficient voting machines to Democratic areas is deliberate voter suppression and should be illegal. If too few machines are allocated to an area, it does not matter how many hours the voting place is kept open, the maximum rate of voting will be capped.
The article notes that there will be fewer voting precincts this election due to budget cuts. This is unacceptable when our whole democracy rests on citizen's rights to vote. We have 48 hours before the final election. Order the *&%_ fire department to transport surplus voting machines from all the precincts that did not have 8 hour lines to these insufficiently supplied areas!
How many times have you seen 8 hour wait times in wealthy suburbs? I've never had to wait more than 10 minutes to vote in my whole lifetime, and I can tell you right now, that if any the places I lived ever had even a several hour wait the commotion that would have ensued demanding that the election commissioner be fired would have been howling.
When we read this paragraph it should be an eye-catching clue:
Traditionally, Democratic voters are more likely to turn out to vote early.According to an analysis of 2008 election results in Ohio's Cuyahoga County by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, African Americans use in-person early voting at approximately 26 times the rate of white voters.This is not a coincidence, or a "quirky cultural thing" but rather is most likely based on experience of African American voters that if one waits for election day, one may not get to vote due to eight hour or more lines. Waits that do not happen in suburbs which have lots of extra voting machines.
This is outrageous and needs to be challenged on all fronts, and the dastardly scoundrels like Richard, Scott and the Secretary of State of Ohio who are behind these efforts need to be help accountable for these un-American activities, that may also be crimes. We know the populations of every precinct, and the number of registered voter, and the history of past waiting times. There is not excuse for allocating insufficient numbers of voting machines to any area.
Keeping voting areas open longer hours may be the only possible emergency band-aid solution, but the root cause is the allocation of voting machines which is being overlooked.