Florida is already experiencing issues voting this election. Florida’s Republican governor, Rick Scott, decided to make the difficulty of voting even harder by cutting the number of days for early voting nearly in half (15 to 8 days.) The League of Women Voters officially requested additional time for early voting, but were denied.
People have, literally, been standing in lines for 4, 6, up to 8 hours in order to cast their ballots. You may be thinking, well, why don’t they just vote absentee? There have also been problems with absentee ballots not being delivered to certain counties (that tend to be Democratic) even though they were requested over a month ago.
Voters who don’t receive their absentee ballots will be required to vote with a provisional ballot at the polls. Provisional ballots don’t get tallied until a week AFTER the election and have had a history of not being counted in Florida’s elections.
To make matter worse, they have also had to shut down an early voting site in Orange County because of “suspicious” items. The police brought in a bomb squad to detonate two packages. Luckily the district judge there ordered the polling place to remain open to make up for the lost time and allowed voters a chance to cast their ballot.
Unfortunately, the problems have not just been relegated to Florida this year. There have also been insanely long lines for early voting in Ohio. Republican Secretary of State, Jon Husted, has been actively trying to limit and obstruct Ohioan citizens from voting this election.
These lines are the direct result of having partisan, specifically Republican, officials in charge of the election process in these states. In both instances, there have been multiple attempts (and successes) to limit the number of early voting days, voting hours and ability to cast your choice in this election.
Please! Do not let their tactics succeed. To be honest, I don’t even care if you are a Romney or Obama supporter. The right to vote in this country is absolutely essential to our democracy. We must, Democrat or Republican, defend our right to participate in our government processes. Voter suppression is anathema to the very concept of democracy.
That’s why I’m urging everyone to STAY IN LINE tomorrow and cast your ballot. Don’t let the underhanded tacticians win. Don’t let them silence you and prevent you from voting. Also, remember these people next time they’re up for re-election and let them know that preventing the population from voting is not in the best interests of anybody, especially them.