Crist hits Scott over changes in Florida election law
December 19th, 2012
06:37 PM ET
10 years ago

Crist hits Scott over changes in Florida election law

(CNN) – Testifying before Congress Wednesday, Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist criticized the state's current Gov. Rick Scott for signing an election law that put "ridiculous restrictions" on voting rights.

"In 2011 the state legislature voted for and Governor Scott signed a massive election law designed, I believe, to make it harder for some Floridians to legally vote and designed to encourage a certain partisan outcome," Crist said at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing investigating nationwide charges of voter suppression.

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The comments by Crist, a former Republican who recently switched to the Democratic Party, come as he considers a run for Florida's governorship in 2014, potentially challenging Scott if he chooses to seek re-election.

"The law, among other things, put ridiculous restrictions on the rights of everyday law-abiding Floridians to register their fellow citizens to vote and reduced the number of early voting days from 14 to eight," Crist said.

Crist added that Scott and the Florida legislature's changes to the state's voting laws resulted in "unnecessary confusion and suppression on Election Day."

Last cycle, Florida allowed two weeks of early voting, which was shortened this year to eight days. Election boards were permitted to schedule as little as 48 hours of early voting. After long lines on November 6, Scott ordered a review of Florida's voting process with a particular emphasis on areas where voters waited four hours or longer to cast their ballots.

"The outcome of these decisions was quite obvious. Florida, which four years earlier was a model for efficiency, became once again a late-night TV joke," Crist said pushing for national standards on voting laws and longer early voting days.

"People are frustrated in our state," Scott told CNN's Soledad O'Brien Wednesday. Scott said changes in size of polling locations, length of ballots and the number of early voting days are needed.

"I complied with the law. We had an election bill that was passed my first year in office by the legislature, it was approved by the Justice Department," he said. "But we do need change."

Crist's sharp criticism comes after a Quinnipiac poll released Wednesday showed 45% of voters in the Sunshine State disapprove of the job Scott's doing in office, while 36% approve. Elected in 2010, Scott is now entering the second half of his term but more than half of voters-52%-say he doesn't deserve a second four-year term.

Filed under: 2012 • Charlie Crist • Rick Scott
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Groundzero

    MORE POLLING PLACES NOT longer days to vote would help! INTRIGRITY of the VOTE is the MOST IMPORTANT RULE.

    December 19, 2012 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  2. Kelby in Houston, TX

    looks like Crist wants his old job back
    hit'em hard hi him often

    December 19, 2012 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  3. Facts don't Lie

    Don't worry Mr. Crist Gov Scott's approval ratings are so low he might be booted out of Florida even before they have an election to do so. He is at the point I hear that the only way a dog will play with him is if he tied a bone around his neck and the bone HAD to have some meat left on it.

    December 19, 2012 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  4. rla

    What a dork- Democrats have been scamming votes and using the election laws for their own advantage for years to steal elections.

    December 19, 2012 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  5. Gurgyl

    Are we in a third world nation or worst than that????? I think federal voter reform is needed. What??? After ten days election, Allen west concedes. Nonsense. Wake up, old coots.

    December 19, 2012 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |

    Tell it like it is Charlie! You guys need to run Scott of the state!!

    December 19, 2012 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  7. n, tx

    Next governor of Florida will be crist, Scott will be defeated.

    December 19, 2012 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  8. Liz the First

    People in republican-controlled states are losing their voting rights all over the country. republicans don't believe in democracy, they believe in one-party rule. if people don't wake up to that fact, we will all lose our right to vote, our right to govern ourselves, every right but the right to work in their factories for a dollar a day.

    December 19, 2012 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  9. jpmichigan

    Crist is flip/flopper. Once a Republican turn Independent turned Democrat Does he really know who or what he is?.

    December 19, 2012 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  10. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Why was there a need to change the law? I don't think that was really necessary. How much fraud was going on in the state that would require this kind of change? That question doesn't sound like it has a good answer.

    December 19, 2012 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  11. lola

    Rick Scott is a criminal and he belongs to jail!!!

    December 19, 2012 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  12. julia brown

    Get rid of all Republicans, they are TalibanTerriost!

    December 19, 2012 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  13. jkane sfl gop mascots the blubbering slobs allen west rover nitwitquest rick scott ,carl rove and donald dump ??????

    Everybody down here in Florida knows that the gop bum Scott the medicade crook tried to fix the Florida vote for the gop and failed ,half the voters in the lines were gop voters and Nathan sproul was a total failure like the rest of the failed gop tactics.he probably cost himself a one term

    December 19, 2012 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  14. HenryMiller

    Voting rights aren't restrictive enough. No one receiving transfer payments from government should be allowed to vote–what's to stop them from voting to further benefit themselves at the taxpayers expense? Likewise, public employees, excepting the military, shouldn't be allowed to vote, for exactly the same reason.

    December 19, 2012 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  15. J.V.Hodgson

    Florida has one of the largest electoral college vote in the US. QED it has a big population. Shortening advance voting from 2 weeks to eight days is counterproductive to increasing voter participation and highly likely contributed to the queues experienced at voting stations. Then when you get there a 9 page ballot form...Nonsense. Including propositions for state legislation.... in my experience I have read some of these and have found wordings designed to confuse or difficult to decide what it means and how to vote... they are frequently worded to get some people to err and vote the opposite of what they want but by that error to get more votes for what the state in power legislature desires.
    The various other matters Florida did also, to me at least, were counterproductive to a free and fair election.

    December 20, 2012 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  16. Freeman

    Same pollers that said Romney was a shoe in,,,,Scott's approval rating. 0

    December 20, 2012 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  17. Marie MD

    I hope Christ is the next governor of my state of Florida. Cadaver looking scott is talking about election problems when he is the one who caused them.
    I cannot believe a state where seniors go in their golden years voted for a fool who obtained ill gotten money from medicare by scr ew ing those same seniors!!!

    December 20, 2012 06:44 am at 6:44 am |
  18. sick of republican phonies

    This man led a company that defrauded the government out of millions of dollars. How the people of Florida put him in power when he should be in jail is unfathomable. And now most of them don't like him. Sadly, you got what you voted for.

    December 20, 2012 07:37 am at 7:37 am |