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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Charlie Crist wasn't always so skeptical about voter purges in Fla



Charlie Crist has signaled for months that voter suppression by Florida Republican leaders in 2012 will be a key line of attack against Rick Scott should Crist run for governor as a Democrat. Crist has drawn heaps of praise from Democrats for extending early voting hours in 2008, for enacting paper trails in Florida elections and for making it easier for ex-felons to regain their voting and other civil rights. But he wasn't always the toast of these civil rights advocates.

News that Gov. Scott wants to take another stab at purging Florida voter rolls of suspect voters, prompted this recent tweet from Crist:

This was a bad idea last year and it's a bad idea again … #Florida #Sayfie #VoterPurge

But Crist wasn't always so critical of such voter roll cleansing efforts. In 2008 everyone from the NAACP to League of Women Voters to the Brennan Center for Justice and Congressional Democrats attacked Crist's "No match, no vote" aimed or scrubbing voters' whose drivers license or Social Security numbers did not match the state database.

“U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, a Democrat from Jacksonville, said issues such as the so-called "no match, no vote" law in Florida feed the mistrust. The law, which some blacks see as discriminatory, invalidates new voter registrations when voters can't produce identification that matches state records.  Brown, along with four other Florida House members, asked Gov. Charlie Crist to delay the law until a federal lawsuit challenging it is resolved. Crist has refused," the AP reported in October 2008.

“Gov. Charlie Crist defended Florida's "No Match, No Vote" law this week, stating it's the best way to prevent voter fraud in the Nov. 4 elections, though Leon County's elections supervisor and the head of Florida's League of Women Voters said the new requirement will disenfranchise thousands of legitimate voters," the News-Press reported that September.

Here's how Crist's Secretary of State, Kurt Browning, defending the law at the time.

[Last modified: Wednesday, August 14, 2013 3:51pm]


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