It was practically written in the stars that the Republicans were going to win the election on Tuesday. All the Republican voters had to do was turn out, and may of them did. What I find wholly pathetic, however, was the inability of the Republicans to win without the specter of foul play hanging over their head. What started with 40,000 missing voter registration forms in Georgia, or flyers out in Kentucky, now turns its attention towards Florida, where foul play appears to have been caught on film.
The relationship between Florida and election BS doesn’t need reinforcing; following 2000, it should be obvious that there are Banana Republicans capable of running cleaner elections. It should be no surprise that Florida, then, is once more is back in the spotlight after questionable behavior on Tuesday. Broward County, a strong Democrat county that could have carried Crist to victory with a strong turn out, is the epicenter this time.
A number of issues in Broward came to Crist’s attention on Tuesday: there were issues with the voting machines, including malfunctions, and voters being sent to different polling locations. In at least one situation, a polling location was not operational for over an hour on Tuesday morning, which prevented voters from casting ballots before work. Crist filed an emergency motion to keep those polls open at least another hour, but despite ample evidence and large number of voters, a Circuit Court judge denied Crist’s requests. While those in line at 7 PM ET were allowed to cast their ballots, nobody else was able to go back in line, even if they had to previously leave or had been given bad info regarding their polling location.
And there were instances of poll workers giving bad information. Izak Pratt of Miami-Dade county noticed just such an incident; the man, who was Black, had his US passport as his identification. According to Pratt’s testimony in a piece for the Gaily Grind, the poll worker told the man that he needed a driver’s licenses with his current home address on it to vote. Eventually, the man gave up, and Pratt interviewed the man as he was walking out:
Flabbergasted and speechless, I stopped the man and asked him if his passport was expired. The gentleman pulled out his passport and showed it to me, it was valid with a signature and clearly had the gentleman’s face on it. I went back inside the polling station and told the poll workers that it was not a legally acceptable reason to deny somebody the right to vote if they presented a valid US passport.
The poll worker said that the gentlemen could not vote because the passport did not have his “home address on it”. That is when I asked to speak with the supervisor of the polling station. The supervisor came over and told me the exact same thing. I pulled out my phone and showed her that she was mistaken and that the law clearly states that a US passport is a valid form of identification in order to be allowed to vote. The supervisor said that she would have to call the elections department to get clarification, but I told her that I conducted a simple Google search to show her all the acceptable forms of ID which are allowed to vote in the state of Florida. She did look them up and after consulting with two poll workers, finally relented and let the man vote.
The gentleman came up to me and told me, as he shook my hand, “Thank you for protecting my right to vote”
Pratt returned for a confrontation that he captured on film with the poll workers and the supervisor. The supervisor maintained that it was just a misunderstanding and a “clerical error.” Pratt posted the confrontation on his Facebook page:
Pratt also attempted to speak with another poll worker outside of the polling station, but was told to leave. Why? Because he was “intimidating the voters.” I’m sure they know all about that, huh?
The sad thing about this is that the GOP would likely have still won without all of this chicanery. It seems like there was a concerted effort to attack voter turn out, and who knows how many “clerical errors” played out on Tuesday as a result.