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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Charlie Crist rips Rick Scott over "partisan, mean-spirited" voter purge

21

July

Yep, it's the latest hint that Charlie Crist may be positioning himself to run as a Democratic candidate for Florida governor in 2014: A Washington Post op ed piece by Crist blasting Gov. Rick Scott's efforts to verify legitimate voters on Florida's rolls as "insidious political maneuvers." An excerpt:

....This is just the most recent example of a mean-spirited and all-too-partisan attempt to restrict access to the rolls and to the polls. A federal court also recently struck down provisions of a law Florida’s legislature passed in 2011, which put heavy burdens on organizations seeking to help voters: burdens that the court described as “harsh and impractical,” serving no purpose other than to make it harder for Americans to participate in the electoral process.

These machinations make a mockery of the democracy we put on display every Election Day. The right to vote is the key to that democracy, giving value to the freedom of speech and making the freedom of religion and the right to assemble possible. When one takes away another’s right to vote, he is taking dead aim at democracy and undermining the very virtue that makes us the envy of the world.

Including as many Americans as possible in our electoral process is the spirit of our country. It is why we have expanded rights to women and minorities but never legislated them away, and why we have lowered the voting age but never raised it. Cynical efforts at voter suppression are driven by an un-American desire to exclude as many people and silence as many voices as possible.

Our country has never solved anything with less democracy, and we’re far better off when more citizens can access the polls — no matter which party mobilizes the most voters to them. As governor of Florida, I extended voting hours and increased the number of days people could vote. I also restored registration rights for felons, years after starting that effort in the state Senate with a member of the opposite party.

I was a Republican at the time of those decisions, which didn’t make me many friends on my side. But when you do the right thing for the people, a political party’s concerns roll off your back quite easily....

 

[Last modified: Saturday, July 21, 2012 1:57am]

    

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