Even Republicans Are Questioning Rick Scott
They’re calling his actions on online voter registration “perplexing” and “inaccurate.”
A bill unanimously passed a Senate committee Thursday that would enact online voter registration in Florida, but Scott’s administration issued a report outlining a number of criticisms in response. In the report, the Division of Elections says the bill would present risks and challenges to the voter registration system, an argument that even Republican election administrators in the state say is erroneous.
“Malicious cyber-attacks and non-malicious malfunctions could potentially wreak havoc on an online voter registration system,” the report said. “Given the increasing prevalence of identity theft an online voter registration system could potentially increase the chances of votes being cast by someone other than the people actually registered to vote.”
The report also noted that not all citizens have access to a personal computer or internet connection — even though registering to vote on paper would still be permitted — and warned that “if the websites for online voter registration are not sufficiently user friendly, frustrated applicants may give up on registering to vote altogether.”
But Republican elections administrators David Stafford and Brian Corley told the Tampa Bay Times they did not understand Scott’s report. “Their analysis is inaccurate at best,” Corley said. “I’m a little perplexed at their erroneous facts.”
The online voter registration bill would take effect in October 2017 because Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner (R) said the state would not be able to implement online registration before next year. Dentzer has said he endorses the legislation, given the longer time frame…
Gov. Scott’s critique of the legislation is no surprise given his prior attempts to stifle voting in Florida. In 2012, Scott and other GOP lawmakers passed a number of election laws that made it more difficult to vote, including cutting the number of early voting days and restricting voter registration. The efforts ended up causing massive lines and chaos at the polls. After the election, Florida Republicans admitted that the election law changes were geared toward suppressing minority and Democratic votes.
Scott also oversaw a controversial and error-riddled voter purge which was ruled illegal because it was conducted too close to the 2012 election and accidentally disenfranchised voters.