No irony here at all.
Florida's discredited 'Tea Party' Republican Gov. Rick Scott — the man who restricted voter registration until blocked by a federal judge; attempted to remove thousands of legal voters from the rolls; presided over 6 hour voting lines after cutting Early Voting days in half and refusing to extend those Early Voting hours despite those completely predictable lines, and even went to federal court to (unsuccessfully) uphold even further restrictions on Early Voting — issued a statement today endorsing election reforms in the Sunshine State.
The statement calls for extending Early Voting (back to what it had been before he restricted) and included the straight-faced announcement that "Our ultimate goal must be to restore Floridians' confidence in our election system."
Yes, the man who destroyed the tenuous confidence that had been restored in Florida's election system by former Republican Gov. Charlie Crist, is now calling for reforms to hasten the restoration of "Floridian's confidence in our election system."
All of this, as luck would have it, comes just in time for both the mid-term elections in 2014 and the incredibly unpopular Governor's own re-election contest that same year.
Scott's full, embarrassing statement on his recommendations for improving the electoral system that he almost single-handedly screwed up, on purpose, follows below...
Governor Rick Scott Statement on Election Reforms
January 17, 2013
Today, Governor Rick Scott released the following statement, outlining his call for election reforms after a briefing with Secretary of State Ken Detzner:
I asked Secretary Detzner to meet with election supervisors following the November election to identify specific ways we can fix the problems we saw in some counties with long lines and delayed reporting. Our ultimate goal must be to restore Floridians' confidence in our election system. I asked Sec. Detzner for a report with specific election reform recommendations, because I want to ensure we do whatever possible to improve our election system from the statewide level.
In short, these reforms need to address the three major areas I have previously outlined. We need shorter ballots. We need more early voting days, which should include an option of the Sunday before Election Day. And, we need more early voting locations. From my briefing with Sec. Detzner today, I believe all these reforms are strongly supported by the input and experiences of local election supervisors and others that the department met with for ideas on improving our current system “ a system clearly in need of improvement.
The detail of these three overarching reforms will include, but is not limited to, the following:
- More Early Voting Days “ Increase the number of days available for early voting. We should allow Supervisors of Elections the flexibility to offer anywhere between eight and 14 days of early voting. Hours of operation should range between six and 12 hours a day. This should include the Sunday before Election Day, allowing Supervisors the option to accommodate the needs of their community as they requested in committee meetings this week. This would also allow the greatest access to early voting ever in Florida history “ at up to 168 hours.
- More Early Voting Locations “ Work with Supervisors to allow more and larger early voting locations to help reduce wait times, long lines, and to better convenience voters.
- Shorter Ballot “ Reduce the length of the ballot, including the description of proposed constitutional amendments.
I appreciate the secretary's work in support of our goal to give all Floridians confidence in the fairness and accessibility of our election system. We must continually push to make improvements, and I look forward to working with the Legislature on a bi-partisan bill to implement these reforms this session. I also appreciate the Legislature and the Supervisors of Elections for their feedback in committee meetings this week. As the Legislature continues its work, I look forward to working together to craft legislation that will ensure successful elections by making these important statewide reforms.