Florida’s universally reviled Republican Governor Rick Scott and his appointed Secretary of State Ken Detzner were just handed a vicious rebuke from a federal judge over their scheme to disenfranchise Floridian voters and throw tens of thousands of ballots into the trash. U.S. District Judge Mark Walker accused Scott and Detzner of delaying a hearing on a voting rights lawsuit “so that he could use every second available to run out the clock” and said their stalling amounted to “an undeclared war on the right to vote.
The Democratic Party of Florida has filed a lawsuit against the state over the issue of mail-in ballots, many of which often have no signatures due to forgetful voters or the signatures don’t match the one on file. The lawsuit demands that voters be given a chance to rectify the signature issue rather than simply rejecting them – as the state of Florida did with 23,000 votes in 2012 – but Scott and his minions are stalling. A scheduling hearing was set by the judge, but Detzner demanded they have a week to respond, at the end of which they declared they’d offer no witnesses and no evidence.
“If one were skeptical, it would appear that the Florida Secretary of State requested as much time as he felt he could possibly justify so that he could use every second available to run out the clock. And by wasting a week on his scintillating response, he quite nearly succeeded” said a livid Judge Walker. He ruled that voters should have a chance to fix the mistakes and placed the duty on county officials to let voters know they have until the day before the election to rectify their signatures.
The state of Florida will not appeal.
Florida is long known as a hotbed for Republican corruption and has a history of state-sponsored voter disenfranchisement. Kudos to the Democratic Party for fighting to ensure that every American’s right to vote is exercised – and shame on Rick Scott for his sinister machinations.