Wasserman Schultz: Long Florida Voting Lines are Republicans' Fault
Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) chalked the long early-voting lines and voters banging on the doors of a Miami-Dade elections office Sunday to Republicans trying to stop people from voting.
Twenty locations in the county out of 541 were open for an eight-day early voting period that ended Saturday at 7 p.m., the Miami Herald reported. On that day, there were lines up to seven hours long at early voting sites and officials decided to allow voters to request absentee ballots in person on Sunday. A temporary shutdown at the Doral office resulted in a few hundred angry voters chanting and banging on the locked doors until the office reopened.
"What happened is very clear. You have Republicans, led by Rick Scott and the Republican legislature, who first shrunk the number of days available for voters to cast an early vote from 14 to eight," Wasserman Schultz said on MSNBC today.
"You have a systematic effort to stop people from voting, shrink the number of people who have been able to go to the polls. We had yesterday in Miami-Dade County absolutely unconscionable effort to really basically remove people from line, stop them from being able to cast an in-person or absentee ballot," she charged. "...What they've been trying to do is throw obstacles in the path of voters, particularly those who are more likely to go to the polls and vote for President Obama and Democrats."
Wasserman Schultz claimed the proof of her charges "is in the pudding, in states across the country, in early votes, in absentee ballots cast, we've cut the typical advantage that Republicans have in so many states in absentee balloting."
She said the last voter who had gotten in line Saturday night didn't vote until 2:30 a.m.
"The Republicans who lead our state continue to try to throw obstacles in their path. Voters are determined to stay in line," Wasserman Schultz continued. "Those voters yesterday in the line at Miami-Dade County, they could have left, but they stayed in line and pushed hard until the doors were reopened and they were allowed to vote."