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Hightower writes: "The reality is that many powerful people don't want certain folks to vote. They go to extremes to discourage those folks from voting and even harass them to keep away from the polls."

Florida election officials announced: 'In order to ensure that individuals with disabilities are not treated unfairly, the use of restrooms by the voters is not allowed on election day.' (photo: Reuters)
Florida election officials announced: 'In order to ensure that individuals with disabilities are not treated unfairly, the use of restrooms by the voters is not allowed on election day.' (photo: Reuters)


Voter Suppression in Florida Hits New Low

By Jim Hightower, OtherWords

25 April 14

 

o one can deny that voting is a civic duty, right?

Well that depends on who you are. The reality is that many powerful people don’t want certain folks to vote. They go to extremes to discourage those folks from voting and even harass them to keep away from the polls.

In 2012, Florida’s highest officials disgraced their offices by engaging in this thuggish electoral thievery. Republican Gov. Rick Scott and his party’s legislative henchmen officially rammed voter suppression into law, targeting Latino, African-American, student, elderly, and other voters likely to favor candidates running on the Democratic Party’s ticket.

Florida officials are making such people use broken-down voting machines and purging them from voter rolls. Many folks in Democratic-leaning precincts faced procedural chaos and up to six-hour waits. That rigmarole deterred at least 200,000 Floridians from casting their ballots.

But now this discouragement has hit a new low.

Advocates for people with disabilities had asked whether restrooms in Miami-area polling places would be accessible to voters in wheelchairs or having other physical needs. They expected to get “yes” for an answer, as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Instead they got this jaw-dropping response: “In order to ensure that individuals with disabilities are not treated unfairly, the use of restrooms by the voters is not allowed on election day.”

Yes, in a perverted twist of logic, “fairness” to people with special needs will be assured by treating everyone unfairly. Thus, the biological need to pee will trump the political right to vote. This is no small matter, given that some Floridian voters waited in line six hours or more during the 2012 elections.

It seems to me that what Florida needs is a couple of good kindergarten teachers to take over the state’s election system. At least they appreciate the importance of potty breaks.

e-max.it: your social media marketing partner
 

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+108 # Barbara K 2014-04-26 11:04
I hope even more Dems come out to vote there even if they need Depends. We cannot let that joke of a government there stop voters. I don't think it should be allowed to do this suppression and I hope that the AG can put a total stop to all of it, and put everything back in place that was there in 2008. It is ridiculous how these vermin can stop people who have been voting for decades. If the states want Voter IDs, they should be providing them and all that is needed to get them for free. No one should have to pay to vote. That is like a Voter Tax.

VOTE THOSE CROOKED IDIOTS OUT IN FLORIDA AND ALL OTHER STATES DOING THIS FRAUD TO STOP PEOPLE FROM VOTING.

..
 
 
+76 # Bourbaki 2014-04-26 11:26
I understand the editors are concerned about a recent drift towards vitriol, but piss on those arseholes.
 
 
+36 # Akeel1701 2014-04-26 11:59
Quoting Barbara K:
I hope even more Dems come out to vote there even if they need Depends. We cannot let that joke of a government there stop voters. I don't think it should be allowed to do this suppression and I hope that the AG can put a total stop to all of it, and put everything back in place that was there in 2008. It is ridiculous how these vermin can stop people who have been voting for decades. If the states want Voter IDs, they should be providing them and all that is needed to get them for free. No one should have to pay to vote. That is like a Voter Tax.

VOTE THOSE CROOKED IDIOTS OUT IN FLORIDA AND ALL OTHER STATES DOING THIS FRAUD TO STOP PEOPLE FROM VOTING.

..

Aye, I know what ye mean, but we have a saying over here: "If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal"
 
 
+11 # Doubter 2014-04-26 12:04
Maybe this is just a way to fool us into thinking voting really matters/counts. ..
 
 
+23 # ericlipps 2014-04-26 13:19
Er . . . isn't that what the Republicans are trying to do, at least for those not likely to vote their way?
 
 
+18 # ericlipps 2014-04-26 13:21
Quote:
Aye, I know what ye mean, but we have a saying over here: "If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal."
Er . . . isn't that what the Republicans are trying to do, at least for those not likely to vote their way?
 
 
+3 # pagrad 2014-04-26 12:42
Surprise! They got what they voted for!
If Florida folks voted Republican (or failed to vote at all, that's what they got.

I don't pity them.
 
 
+18 # WestWinds 2014-04-26 12:53
All they have to do is ask for paper ballots and drop them off at their local Board of Elections on an appropriate day so they may be counted. This is such a no-brainer and yet we just can't seem to get ourselves together to do the simplest of things any more. Why does this elude people so???
 
 
+12 # Art947 2014-04-27 16:15
First, what makes you think that getting a paper ballot is an easy process in Florida?
Second, what makes you believe that the paper ballots will be processed and counted?

When a group tries to limit those who it doesn't trust to vote the way that it wants them to vote, they will do everything possible to make sure that those votes are not counted.

It you trust Rick Scott ( a convicted thief)and his band of cooks, then I have a famous bridge that I will be pleased to sell to you.
 
 
+44 # bingers 2014-04-26 11:39
Voting Republican is concrete proof that you don't know what you are doing and should be scrubbed from the rolls. 8^)
 
 
+47 # Madmedic 2014-04-26 12:09
This blatent discrimination is nothing new here in Central Florida. Last election the proud Teaparty promoting owner of the newest local gun store ran for ... Get this ... SUPERVISOR OF ELECTIONS.

These people may be a bunch of redneck hayseeds, but they sure enough know how to rig elections. I suspect that this is how the Repukes have managed to gerrymander the congressional districts in so many states. May they and their sugardaddies, the Koch sucker brothers, all rot in Hell !!
 
 
+29 # WestWinds 2014-04-26 12:36
I live in Florida and I have been supporting Charlie Crist for Governor because I think he can take Rick Scott out of office; which I never believed that Alex Sink could.

Last week I received a very expensive over sized postcard telling me that Charlie Crist is not a Progressive; which I am.

There was no address or any kind of identification anywhere on it. At first I thought it came from the Democrats because I rarely get mail from the Right. (I'm sure they know which side every voter in the state sits; they keep all sorts of covert records.)

Anyway, it bothered me that there was nothing claiming credit for the card and it later dawned on me (when I asked myself who stood to gain by it,) that it had to have come from the Right; hoping I wouldn't vote for Crist if I knew he wasn't a Progressive.

See Part Two
 
 
+2 # michelle 2014-04-28 23:12
"it bothered me that there was nothing claiming credit for the card and it later dawned on me ... that it had to have come from the Right"

Check for a 'Union Bug' on the card. When I get ads that are obviously from republicans, I always check to see if it was printed in a union shop. It's a dead give away because republicans do not use union shops. My democratic ads on the other hand have the union bug.
 
 
+31 # WestWinds 2014-04-26 12:36
Part Two:

Crist is a very familiar face in Florida politics and I think he's going to win. I think people are not too well pleased with Rick Scott's performance in office; even though they have also suppressed much of the information about what his administration has been up to.

I've dealt with Crist in the past and found he can be a reasonable person; which is a far cry from so many of what we have representing us here in Florida these days; to include Rick Scott.

I realize that Charlie Crist is probably a lot more to the Right than I would care for, but he's no more Right than say Bill Nelson; which makes Crist very electable in what I consider a purple state. In any event, Crist would be a welcome relief over Rick Scott and I'm quite sure that's the way it's going to go.

But as for the card... it just goes to show you how much money they have access to that they could put together such an expensive and limited use item (I mean how many Progressives are there in Florida?) It also goes to show how down and dirty they are willing to play. It's too bad, really, because the state itself is very beautiful but the people running it leave much to be desired.

It's really too bad that the residents of Florida have molasses in their veins; you'd think that 200,000 voters would get together and protest all of the voter suppression. But leave it to Floriduh to go along to get along in a Huey Long state.
 
 
+45 # unitedwestand 2014-04-26 12:53
Scott is about the sleaziest, slimiest "elected" officials out there. I know there are many to pick from, but this guy is a verifiable Medicare fraudster and a criminal, and Florida elected him Governor? Astounding!

FLORIDIANS REDEEM YOURSELVES and VOTE THIS SNAKE OIL SALESMAN OUT!! Florida has already done enough damage, remember 2000?
 
 
+32 # hwmcadoo 2014-04-26 13:51
A little more of this in a few more states and there will be no honest way to win an election; the tiny fragment of remaining democracy will be extinguished for good.

Then only the most extreme corrupt fascist conservatives will be in power.
 
 
+15 # tazia@aol.com 2014-04-26 15:40
Quoting hwmcadoo:
A little more of this in a few more states and there will be no honest way to win an election; the tiny fragment of remaining democracy will be extinguished for good.

Then only the most extreme corrupt fascist conservatives will be in power.

So how do we makw sure that doesn't happen? I say we vote them out of power as soon and as fast as we can.
 
 
+18 # Floridatexan 2014-04-26 15:48
I live in Florida and I certainly did NOT vote for Rick Scott, who's nothing but a swindler.
 
 
+12 # geraldom 2014-04-27 15:14
Floridatexan, I'm so glad that you didn't vote for Rick Scott, at least that you don't think that you voted for Rick Scott. I assume that you either used an e-voting machine directly or you perhaps mailed in your vote, but either way, both methods require the end use of an e-voting machine.

I guess I have a question for you, and I would really like you to seriously think about this. Since all elections in the U.S. now by law require the use of e-voting machines instead of actual paper ballots counted by human hands and eyes, thanks to the Democrats who helped support the passage of HAVA (the Help America Vote Act), a typical Bush/Republican Bill, is how do you know what the machine itself internally tabulated?

You personally didn't vote for Rick Scott, but how do you know how the machine itself voted? This is the problem with e-voting machines. You know how you voted, but you don't know how the machine internally voted, and, what's worse, you've no idea how anyone else voted or how the e-voting machines tabulated their votes.

These e-voting machine are designed, manufactured, and programmed by private companies who mostly favor the Republicans and who will not allow their software to be tested or validated by an independent agency based on their claim that their software is proprietary.

This is why we can never ever be sure that any elections are free, fair, and honest anymore, and I predict that the upcoming 2014 midterm elections will be another fiasco.
 
 
+12 # tabonsell 2014-04-26 16:04
This really shows the intellectual capacity of a typical Republican.

Most people confined to wheelchairs would have a pee bottle strapped to their leg and not have to use a restroom.

Republicans be stupid.
 
 
+17 # geraldom 2014-04-26 20:54
I am not surprised by what the Republican Party is doing throughout the country. I haven't been surprised ever since George W. Bush stole the presidential election in 2000, and I'm not supposed to be politically knowledgeable or experienced.

If I was keenly aware of what the Republican Party agenda was at the time, then the Democratic Party, who is supposed to be a whole lot smarter than I, should have also been.

I knew that what was on top of George Bush's to-do list once he became an illegitimate president was to pack the federal bench with as many politically-ori ented ideologue judges as he can get away with. I knew that then as most people know it now.

And, after the voting fiasco that took place in Florida in 2000 and the obvious stealing of the election there by Jeb Bush, G.W. Bush's brother and the Republican governor. Katherine Harris, the SOS of Florida at the time, and the Republican Party, the Democratic Party up until recently still hadn't learned it lesson about the Republican agenda.

This makes what John Kerry did the very day after the 2004 presidential election was obviously stolen from him in the state of Ohio that much worse. For John Kerry to concede the 2004 presidential election to G.W. Bush just after election day without so much as a fight fully knowing that the election had been stolen from him and what George Bush could do to this country given another four years, was plain weakness and sheer stupidity on his part.
 
 
+10 # Old Uncle Dave 2014-04-26 21:55
Request an absentee ballot, vote at home, mail it in or drop it off.
 
 
+4 # geraldom 2014-04-28 12:21
Quoting Old Uncle Dave:
Request an absentee ballot, vote at home, mail it in or drop it off.


Even mail-in ballots end up being scanned into an e-voting machine. All elections now use unreliable and unverifiable e-voting machines to tabulate the vote count.
 
 
+11 # Kootenay Coyote 2014-04-26 22:18
& that dings not only the obvious disabilities but also seniors &, especially, diabetics. Piss on Florida.
 
 
+2 # Far Left vanishing point 2014-04-27 08:49
Ends justify the means for the GOP who really just follow and revere the constitution. That is what they say. They don't want to be unamerican.
 
 
+5 # kalpal 2014-04-27 09:33
Why should the RW not suppress anyone they feel may not vote the "right" way? They have every right within their ideology to do whatever is necessary to retain power. No one within the RW is ethical, moral, honest or upright. That is not the way to stay in power. Why attain power if you have no intention of abusing it?
 
 
-11 # lnason@umassd.edu 2014-04-27 11:23
The conclusions in this piece do not make much sense. NO polling places in Massachusetts allow the use of restroom facilities to voters because the polling places are often schools, houses of worship, or other places where allowing unsupervised access to bathrooms by any adults (including child molesters and graffiti-loving atheists) could lead to physical violence or property damage. Does this mean that Massachusetts is attempting to suppress the overwhelming majority of Democrats from voting? Stop being silly.

Lee Nason
New Bedford, Massachusetts
 
 
+10 # Majikman 2014-04-27 15:21
Does Mass. have limited polling booths and broken machines so that lines stretch for hours in Dem. districts? Didn't think so.
 
 
+10 # fredboy 2014-04-27 12:19
The white nut cases here in Florida--the tea baggers, etc.--are very, very afraid of the minority vote since they've treated minorities like shit here forever.
 
 
+4 # Sangze 2014-04-28 10:54
AFter all, Florida neagted the honest election of a democrat in 2000. What else can you expect? Florida is what's called a fascist state.
 
 
+1 # PKJ1015 2014-04-28 12:55
How do we get a Port-a-potty at every spot that needs one? This is bull. Who is taking this to court?
 
 
0 # artic fox 2014-04-28 21:44
tea-baggers and republicans:

Beware the Ides of June and November!
 
 
+2 # Interested Observer 2014-04-29 08:36
Reminds me of when complaints about the crowding on buses were met by removing all the seats on the buses.
 

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