Though voting was made deliberately more difficult in many states in 2012, Florida stood out in its disgracefulness. Thanks in large part to a narrower early-voting window and fewer voting precincts, Republican-imposed changes to Florida's voting process led to indefensibly long lines.
It's understandable that Gov. Rick Scott (R) would be embarrassed by this, but the defense he's come up with isn't going to help.
Facing a highly critical group of black legislators, Gov. Rick Scott largely defended his record Tuesday but distanced himself from a controversial election law that led to fewer early-voting days and long lines.
Scott agreed with black lawmakers that the 2011 election law contributed to the chaos at the polls in November, including long lines all over the state and up to seven-hour waits in Miami-Dade. But Scott, who is seeking re-election in 2014, said it was largely a decision of the Legislature.
"It was not my bill," Scott said. "We've got to make changes, I agree.... The Legislature passed it. I didn't have anything to do with passing it."
So, let me get this straight. Rick Scott's allies in the legislature passed bills that made it harder for Floridians to vote. Rick Scott then signed those bills into law. Rick Scott then spent more than $500,000 in legal fees to beat back court challenges to the anti-voting measures he adopted and enforced. Immediately after the election fiasco, Rick Scott defended his actions, declaring, "We did the right thing."
And now Rick Scott's defense is, "Who, me?"
Update: This afternoon Scott formally endorsed "the three major changes to election procedures recommended by state election supervisors," including increasing the early-voting window from 8 to 14 days (thanks to Tricia Mckinney for the heads-up).