Lewis slams Republican effort to 'steal' Florida election
October 3rd, 2012
08:11 PM ET
2 years ago

Lewis slams Republican effort to 'steal' Florida election

(CNN) - Civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis, D-Georgia, leveled an explosive charge in a fundraising email for a candidate seeking to oust a Republican congressman from Florida.

Lewis, wrote that there is a "deliberate and systematic effort on the part of Republican officials to prevent minorities, seniors, the young, and the poor from casting their ballots."

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The Georgia Democrat sent the email on behalf of Patrick Murphy who is challenging Rep. Allen West of Florida.

He wrote that the matter is "deeply personal."

During the civil rights movement, he protested segregation by organizing lunch counter sit-ins, participating in "freedom rides" aboard segregated busses, leading other demonstrations, such as protest on a Selma, Alabama bridge which came to be known as "Bloody Sunday." His biography says he was arrested over 40 times while demonstrating.

At the Democratic National Convention this summer, he spoke passionately about the right to vote.

"My dear friends, your vote is precious, almost sacred," Lewis said. "It is the most powerful nonviolent tool we have to create a more perfect union."

In the fundraising email, he said of the Florida Republicans, "we can't let them steal this election."

"We must do everything we can to protect the vote," he continued.

Earlier this year, Florida election officials - led by Republican Gov. Rick Scott - began removing ineligible voters from their rolls. The Justice Department sued the state over the plans as the state sued the federal government for access to a database which they said would assist their plans to remove non-citizens from voter lists. In July, the state announced a deal which would allow them access to the list, which was maintained by the Homeland Security Department.

West has landed headlines of his own for a series of controversial comments, including his allegation that several members of Congress are members of the Communist Party and a separate charge that a Muslim member of Congress represents "the antithesis of the principles upon which this country was established."


Filed under: 2012 • Florida • Georgia • John Lewis
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Thomas

    Wow , didn't we go through this back in 2000 ?

    Where is Florida's former secretary of state, Katherine Harris now ?

    October 3, 2012 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  2. Pete

    NathanSproul of SAC should have been convicted of voter fraud but because he has big republican ties he's free to screw the voters of over 8 states again.It has to be done,a national photo ID for voting and other pertinent info,then there's no way that republicans can steal another election like in 2000,2004..They can't win a legitimate election,they can't deny it but are so arrogent and ignorent they blantantly will try it anyway,look in Florida now.Rick Scott who should be in federal prison is what republicans are all about ,the corruption,the racial tone ,criminal tones just in this election alone gets most sane voters sick,he's governor and bought his election with a dirty smear style campaign,no substance ,just lies and damaging inuendoes but voters mostly seniors believed him and are suffering now because of his cutbacks to the states Medicaid and other social programs including education..It has to stop and voters can do just that,power in numbers is the key,call your reps in the state and complain saying if they don't get better plans for voters against corruption we'll find new reps,plain and simple we're sick and tired of criminals running our state government,right now!!

    October 3, 2012 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  3. Liz the First

    We suffered thru 8 years of a usurper and look what damage he did to this country. republicans don't believe in democracy, they belive in rule by the rich and corporations. all the talk about voter fraud is just an excuse to disenfranchise every likely Democratic voter they can. if they can't even play fair in elections, how can we trust them to do the right thing in any area of government?

    October 3, 2012 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  4. Borderless

    Does anyone fall for this nonsense anymore? Everyone knows two things: The contribution from pretty insignificant and the idea of showing an id does not prevent people from voting. Both sides are being idiotic but not as idiotic as the people who take these silly arguments to heart.

    October 3, 2012 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |