It’s good to see Gov. Rick Scott admit he and fellow Republicans in the Legislature might have been wrong to reduce early voting days before the November election. We also appreciate his vow to restore confidence in the way the state conducts elections. The governor, in a television interview, admitted the move angered many Floridians. In addition to long lines on Nov. 6 — some waited for hours to vote — the counting of votes in some South Florida counties was delayed for days. That triggered a delay in deciding who won the state’s 29 electoral votes. Florida avoided another embarrassment on the national stage because the race was won by President Barack Obama regardless of the state’s outcome.
The number of early voting days for this year was reduced from 14 to eight. Notably eliminated was the Sunday before Election Day. Scott tried to deflect some of the blame by saying he merely signed the bill reducing early voting. However, we argue he should have vetoed the bill if he felt it was unfair or bad legislation. The governor is failing in his duty if he merely rubberstamps legislation. That goes to the core of our system of checks and balances.
We have long supported more opportunities to allow people to vote beyond the traditional Election Day. Returning early voting to two weeks before Election Day will help Scott and the legislature restore some of that confidence.