This election proved exactly how flawed our Florida voting system is. The likes of Chris Matthews, Michael Bloomberg, and countless publications, have compared the disaster to third world country elections. Florida voters faced long lines, power outages, cuts to early voting hours, and even printing errors on absentee ballots.
While the rest of the country has had its problems, Florida followed its ever-increasing trend of holding up the entire election. Since 2000, when it was established that Florida was a key swing state, it has been one hell of a rocky road to the voting booth.
The main source of voting problems can be traced to Republicans, who have tirelessly attempted to convince the state that massive voter fraud is constantly underway (Even though a study by the Justice Department showed the average voter fraud at .00000013 percent of the vote). This time, Republicans came swinging from every angle. Politicians like Governor Rick Scott, Rep. Dennis Baxley (R-Ocala), Senator Ellyn Bogdanoff, and Senator Don Gaetz fought to restrict early voting hours. Some conservatives actually fought to keep lines long on voting day. Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez (R) closed doors on early voting days. As a result, voters faced 6 hour long waits on Election Day, leaving some people to stand in line until 1 am.
Early voting was the biggest threat to Republicans, which is why it was attacked it so viciously. A huge percent of minorities vote early, especially the black community, where churches organize groups to go to their designated polling places after Sunday services. According to the Early Voting Center, in 2008, 54 percent of African Americans voted early, as well as in 2010, where they out-voted whites by a third.
A two-year-old could work out what needs to be done to fix Florida’s voting problems. There need to be more voting machines, poll workers, and extended early voting hours (as well as people who can spell check and read ballots, apparently). The solution is so simple it is almost stupid.