Rick Scott shirks the blame for disastrous voting law

Updated
File Photo: Florida Gov. Rick Scott,
File Photo: Florida Gov. Rick Scott,
David Goldman/AP

Florida Governor Rick Scott signed the controversial voting legislation that shortened early voting and led to long lines at the polls, but he says that doesn’t mean the law is his fault.

“It was not my bill,” Scott said. “We’ve got to make changes, I agree. … The Legislature passed it. I didn’t have anything to do with passing it.”

The law, which cut early voting from 14 to 8 days and put severe restrictions on registration groups, was signed into law by Scott in 2011. His administration spent $500,000 of taxpayer money defending it, according to the Tampa Bay Times. Experts agree that the law is at least partially to blame for the 3- to 6-hour-long lines many Florida voters waited in during early voting and on Election Day.

The comments came in a contentious meeting with the Florida Legislative Black Caucus that covered issues from early voting to civil rights for former felons. Lawmakers pushed back on Scott for imposing a five-year waiting period before ex-felons could regain their civil rights, including voting.

Again, Scott pushed the issue onto someone else, telling House Democratic Leader Perry Thurston to talk to one of the other members of the clemency board.

“We’ll hold his feet to the fire,” Thurston said, “There’s always another election.”

Rick Scott shirks the blame for disastrous voting law

Updated