Rick Scott Again Trying To Suppress Florida Voters

Contact: Hannah Hurley


Rick Scott Again Trying To Suppress Florida Voters

Washington, D.C. (November 9, 2018) – SMP released the following statement calling Rick Scott out for his disgusting history of voter suppression. For the past eight years, Rick Scott has taken concrete actions to restrict voting rights and disenfranchise minority communities across Florida. Now, as Election Day ballots for the Florida Senate race continue to be counted and Rick Scott’s fragile lead continues to shrink, he is once again attempting to suppress voters by trying to stop valid ballots from being counted.

“Rick Scott has made it his mission over the past eight years to disenfranchise minority voters and restrict voting rights for the people of Florida, and now he is at it again,” said J.B. Poersch, president of SMP. “Rick Scott is standing in the way of legally cast votes from being counted. For the sake of democracy Rick Scott needs to get out of the way and allow every single vote in this race to be counted.”

Timeline of Rick Scott’s Voter Suppression

2018: After Election Day, Rick Scott sued local elections officials and accused them of “rampant fraud” while they were counting Election Day ballots for the Senate race he was running in. Scott asked the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, which he oversees as governor, to investigate the officials. The FDLE said they would not be investigating because they found no examples of voter fraud.

2016: Rick Scott refused to extend the voter registration deadlines in Florida in the wake of Hurricane Matthew. A Florida judge also struck down a law signed by Rick Scott that ejected mail ballots if a voter’s signature on the ballot envelope did not match a signature on file. The judge argued that the law “categorically disenfranchised thousands of voters. 

2014: Rick Scott blocked the use of the student union at the University of Florida as an early voting site, making it more difficult for students to vote.

2013: Rick Scott ordered Pinellas County to stop using remote sites to drop off ballots, even though they madevoting more convenient. The Supervisor of Elections defied the order and Scott’s administration backed down.

2012: Rick Scott pressured an election supervisor in the Florida Keys to limit early voting to 8 days instead of 12. Rick Scott also attempted to purge thousands of Floridians from voters rolls. Under Rick Scott’s watch, Florida had the longest lines of any state at early voting sites in the 2012 elections.

2011: Rick Scott eliminated the system that restored voting rights to ex-felons and imposed a five-year waiting period to apply for clemency instead. This restriction was recently overturned by Florida voters on Election Day. Rick Scott also signed a law ending early voting on the Sunday before Election Day, known as “Souls to the Polls.” Souls to the Polls was a practice that helped allow African-American Churches mobilize their congregation to vote.