A peek behind the voter-suppression curtain

Updated
 
Floridians line up to vote.
Floridians line up to vote.
Associated Press

Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist recently wrote an op-ed condemning “zealots” for imposing new restrictions on voting, “overreacting to contrived threats of voter fraud by significantly narrowing the voting pool.” As it turns out, he’s not the only former Florida Republican with these concerns.

In a 630-page deposition recorded over two days in late May, [Florida’s former Republican Party chairman Jim Greer], who is on trial for corruption charges, unloaded a litany of charges against the “whack-a-do, right-wing crazies” in his party, including the effort to suppress the black vote.

In the deposition, released to the press [last week], Greer mentioned a December 2009 meeting with party officials. “I was upset because the political consultants and staff were talking about voter suppression and keeping blacks from voting,” he said, according to the Tampa Bay Times. He also said party officials discussed how “minority outreach programs were not fit for the Republican Party,” according to the AP.

In fairness, it’s not unreasonable to question Greer’s veracity. The man is facing felony corruption charges and very likely carries a grudge against his former colleagues – the state GOP quickly kicked him to the curb when his legal troubles began.

But if Greer’s deposition is accurate, and he saw first-hand that Republican officials took specific, deliberate steps to disenfranchise African-American voters, this not only sheds new light on Gov. Rick Scott’s (R) “purge” crusade, it also confirms the worst Democratic fears about the ugly motivations behind the Republican Party’s “war on voting.”

In the meantime, controversy continues to plague Pennsylvania’s voter-ID law, and one elections official said last week he’ll refuse to enforce it.

“To ask me to enforce something that violates civil rights is ludicrous and absolutely something I am not willing to do,” [Christopher Broach, a Democratic inspector of elections in Colwyn, Pa.] told the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Though there’s the potential he could face fines or prison Broach said his mind is made up.

“Rosa Parks made the same decision,” he told the paper.

I’m not sure if the Rosa Parks comparison is quite right, but if other local election officials in Pennsylvania reject the scandal-plagued law, it’s a development well worth watching.

Pennsylvania and Florida

A peek behind the voter-suppression curtain

Updated