On the last Saturday of early voting, my wife and I stood in a line that went around the corner of the precinct for almost three hours to cast our ballots. It was a hot, unpleasant experience. We were lucky, considering thousands of people at various early-voting sites in Miami-Dade County had to wait five, six, or more hours to vote. Some even cast their ballots well after midnight. It was all part of Gov. Rick Scott's ploy to discourage Barack Obama supporters from going to the polls.
Then on Sunday, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez tried to join in on the voter suppression. Elections supervisor Penelope Townsley told a couple hundred people they could vote, but Gimenez tried to stop them. Those voters had to wait an hour before the mayor finally relented.
I would expect these kinds of tactics from Hugo Chávez and Fidel Castro, but not from elected officials in the United States of America. Considering that a majority of citizens in Miami-Dade have fled countries where stolen elections are the norm, you'd expect Gimenez, as well as every mayor of the county's 35 municipalities, to fight so that every citizen can cast a ballot. If I, like the mayor, had fled Communist Cuba, I would take pride in telling the governor to shove it and opening the polls to the public.
Voter Suppression and Mayor Carlos Gimenez
But Republicans like Gimenez and Scott benefit from voter fraud and suppression. So they do nothing.
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Now, Florida is once again the national laughingstock during a presidential election. I'm sick and tired of watching CNN, the Washington Post, and other national news outlets cover our state like its a banana republic. The voter intimidation got so bad that the U.S. Department of Justice had to monitor early voting in Miami-Dade.
When the Sunshine State is in the national spotlight, we need to do everything possible to make the election a smooth and easy process. Instead, Scott and Gimenez are destroying our democracy.
Follow Luke on Twitter: @unclelukereal1.