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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

After Romney loss, voting problems in Florida, Scott stays on message

7

November

 After meeting with top education officials Wednesday, Gov. Rick Scott took some time to answer a few questions about the election.

Florida was in the news as a razor-thin race, and it was the only state that hadn't been called by the time most networks ended their presidential coverage last night.

Part of the reason was the close margins--less than 100,000 votes separated Mitt Romney and Pres. Obama out of more than 8.3 million cast. But another contributor was the fact that people were still voting as late as 1:45 a.m. in South Florida, due to wait times that lasted six and seven hours in parts of the state. In several cities and counties across the state of Florida, both early voting and election day voting were plagued by long lines.

Scott stopped short of criticizing the process, saying that he would be sitting down with the Secretary of State to see how the state could improve.

"One thing I think we always ought to be doing is always look at when we finish something and say, ‘What can we improve?’" he said. "So I’ll be sitting down with the Secretary of State’s Office to look at the things that we can improve."

He then went on to talk about the positives--high turnout and great interest in early and absentee voting.

Scott also gave reaction to the outcome of the presidential race:

"Our country knows that the biggest issue we have is jobs," he said. "So President Obama is re-elected. My goal is that we’d all come together. We unite to focus on what our families need. They need jobs."

He was asked if Obama's victory and the strong showing by Democrats up and down the ballot caused him to worry him about 2014.

"I travel the state everyday. I talk to families everyday. I know what they care about and it’s what I’m focused on," he said. "Is, one, making sure that in our state people can get a job, and, two, making sure children can get an education and that’s what I’m going to keep doing.”

He was also asked about the resounding failure of eight of 11 amendments placed on the ballot by the Legislature. Many people blame the long, confusing amendments on causing logjam at the polls and leading to massive lines. Scott simply said the amendment proposals were all part of the democratic process. He also distanced himself from the failed amendments, even though he publicly pushed for some of them.

"As you know the amendments don’t come to the governor’s office. They only go through the Legislature," he said. "I think that we live in a great state where people have the opportunity to participate in the election. people can propose things and they’re either going to pass or not going to pass."

Obama's victory also means Obamacare--which Scott has criticized--is here to stay.

Scott's thoughts: "What I think about when I look at anything with regard to Obamacare: Is it good for a patient? Did it help them reduce their cost or get access to health care? Can taxpayers pay for it? What’s it going to do to jobs?"

--reporting by Tia Mitchell

 

 

 

[Last modified: Wednesday, November 7, 2012 4:57pm]

    

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