Leaks are a part of the GOP’s slow implosion. So it’s not a surprise that current and former Republicans are admitting the real purpose of the voter ID and early voting laws. The Florida law that cut early voting was an intentional tactic to hand Florida to the GOP by inhibiting Democratic turnout, former GOP officials and “current GOP consultants” told the Palm Beach Post. Former GOP Florida Chairman called the voter ID laws a “marketing ploy” and Crist said he was approached about changing the laws regarding early voting. Two veteran GOP campaign consultants echoed Crist and Greer’s claims.
Crist told the Post he was approached during his term as Governor by Republicans, who wanted him to change the early voting laws. Crist felt the requests may have been targeting black voters and a GOP consultant admits that black voters were a “concern”:
…(I)n a telephone interview this month that he (Crist) did not recall conversations about early voting specifically targeting black voters “but it looked to me like that was what was being suggested. And I didn’t want them to go there at all.”
But a GOP consultant who asked to remain anonymous out of fear of retribution said black voters were a concern.
“I know that the cutting out of the Sunday before Election Day was one of their targets only because that’s a big day when the black churches organize themselves,” he said.
The issue of whether or not this law deliberately took aim at minorities is a big deal because Florida is one of nine states subject to the Voting Rights Act. Five counties in the state must get federal clearance for changes to voting laws that could impact minorities.
Former Republican Party of Florida Chairman Jim Greer told the Post that the GOP began to push for a cut in early voting in 2009 because early voting “is not good for us.” Describing behind-the-scenes meetings at which these issues were allegedly addressed, he said, “They never came in to see me and tell me we had a (voter) fraud issue. It’s all a marketing ploy.”
Greer’s take on the laws is that Republicans targeted minorities not as racists but because they didn’t think they could ever get African Americans to vote for them. (Note: It is irrelevant in the eyes of the law why they targeted minorities voting rights.)