TALLAHASSEE, FL — Here are the facts: Gov. Rick Scott supported HB 1355 — the voter suppression bill which slashed early voting days. Gov. Rick Scott signed HB 1355 into law. And it was Gov. Rick Scott who repeatedly refused calls to extend early voting hours while Floridians waited in line upwards of 6 hours to cast their ballot.
Rick Scott broke Florida’s election system. So when he goes on CNN today to tell us that Florida “needs more early voting days,” — it’s hard for Floridian’s to trust a word that Rick Scott says. No wonder new polling shows that Scott’s “chances for re-election are in jeopardy.”
“Gov. Rick Scott’s motto is trust me to fix what I broke,” said Scott Arceneaux, Executive Director of the Florida Democratic Party. “But after watching Scott say one thing — after doing the exact opposite — Floridians simply don’t trust Scott with our future. Scott has had many, many opportunities to show the people of Florida that he’s serious about fixing the challenges that are facing our state — but instead of leading and taking responsibility, Scott is blaming everyone but himself. And whether it’s failing to invest in public education which is the gateway to opportunity for Florida’s middle class families, or signing into a law the voter suppression bill that created an election debacle, it’s clear Floridian’s can’t trust Scott to fix what he broke.”
TIMELINE — Rick Scott: Trust Me to Fix What I Broke.
May 19, 2011: Governor Scott Signs HB 1355 — the voter suppression law which “rolled back the number of early-voting days from a maximum of 14 days to eight days.” [As “Fla. voters face long lines, Scott stands firm,” AP, 11/3/12; “Gov. Scott Signs Election Bill,” WCTV, 5/19/11].
November 1, 2012: “Democrats call for extension of early voting, Gov. Scott says no thanks” [First Coast News, 11/1/12].
November 3, 2012: Because of Scott’s decision to shorten early voting hours, voters forced to wait upwards of 6 hours to cast their ballot [DailyKos, 11/3/12].
November 3, 2012: FL Dems Chair Smith, Sen. Nelson, the League of Women Voters and other groups continue to call on Scott to extend early voting hours. Gov. Scott refuses. [FL Dems, 11/3/12].
November 4, 2012: FL Dems file suit to extend early voting hours. Gov. Scott still refuses to extend the hours. [“Florida Early Voting Fiasco: Voters Wait For Hours At Polls As Rick Scott Refuses To Budge,” Huffington Post, 11/4/12].
November 9, 2012: Scott doubles down on FL’s voting debacle. When asked why he did not extend early voting hours, Scott said “we did the right thing.”
December 19, 2012: After signing the law limiting early voting hours and refusing to extend early voting hours, Gov. Scott says today “Florida needs more early voting days,” and “Scott blamed the legislature for changing the time period with the 2011 HB 1355, which he signed into law.” [Palm Beach Post, 12/19/12].