Gov. Rick Scott told CNN the following Dec. 19 about Florida’s elections: “We need to have bipartisan legislation that deals with three issues. One, the length of our ballot. Two, we’ve got to allow our supervisors more flexibility in the size of their polling locations and, three, the number of days we have. We’ve got to look back at the number of days of early voting we had.” Scott is right, although many have made the same points in recent months.
Democrats pounced on Scott’s statement, which reversed his previous defense of Florida’s election laws, which were substantially revised in 2011 and signed by the governor. “It’s bordering on an alternative reality,” said former state Sen. Dan Gelber, D-Miami Beach. “He and his colleagues in the Legislature created precisely what happened.” Indeed, they did.
However, whatever the reason for Scott’s change of heart, Democrats and independents should seize this opportunity to lobby the Legislature for three-point change. Fortunately, the Legislature’s new Republican leaders have already created an opportunity for reform.