July 27, 2012 § 1 Comment
“Including as many Americans as possible in our electoral process is the spirit of our country. It is why we have expanded rights to women and minorities but never legislated them away, and why we have lowered the voting age but never raised it. Cynical efforts at voter suppression are driven by an un-American desire to exclude as many people and silence as many voices as possible.
Our country has never solved anything with less democracy, and we’re far better off when more citizens can access the polls — no matter which party mobilizes the most voters to them. As governor of Florida, I extended voting hours and increased the number of days people could vote. I also restored registration rights for felons, years after starting that effort in the state Senate with a member of the opposite party.
I was a Republican at the time of those decisions, which didn’t make me many friends on my side. But when you do the right thing for the people, a political party’s concerns roll off your back quite easily.”
- Charlie Crist, Republican governor of Florida from 2007 until 2011, July 20, 2012. He left the Republican Party in 2010 and is now an Indepedent
- Source: The voter ID mess subverts an American birthright by Charlie Crist for the Washington Post
- Context: Florida Republicans, lead by Governor Rick Scott, have been pushing hard for laws which would strip many Floridians of their voting rights, specifically in minority communities. This has led the Department of Justice to file a lawsut against the state. In this piece, Charlie Crist argues against voter suppression, and states that his efforts to include more people in the voting process put him at odds with other Republicans. Republicans across the nation have been introducing laws aimed at reducing voter turnout on the basis of preventing “voter fraud”. Critics contend that there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud and that such laws are aimed at manipulating election results in favor of the Republican Party by suppressing the votes of those who vote primarily Democrat.