There was never any doubt that Florida Democrats would level an election complaint this cycle accusing Republicans of trying to disenfranchise voters. The only question was when, and the answer came today. Even as Florida residents in Daytona Beach and Jacksonville are still riding out the worst of Hurricane Matthew, Democrat politicians spent their day typing up and signing a letter to Governor Rick Scott claiming that the hurricane may end up disenfranchising voters. In a joint letter signed by eleven Democrats, they ask Scott to extend the voter registration deadline.
“We respectfully request an extension of the voter registration deadline so that we may ensure the franchise, the integrity of our democracy, and the rights we as Americans hold dear, are fully protected,” the letter says.
It was signed by Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Senator Bill Nelson, Rep. Alcee L. Hastings, indicted Democrat Representative Corrine Brown, Rep. Kathy Castor, Rep. Ted Deutch, Rep. Frederica Wilson Rep. Alan Grayson, Rep. Lois Frankel, Rep. Erin “Patrick” Murphy and Rep. Gwen Graham.
For these eleven Democrat politicians, the most pressing item on their Friday schedules wasn’t worrying about storm damage or constituent needs. Instead, they were laser-focused on how they could use the hurricane as an excuse to launch their standard election complaint about voter disenfranchisement, even though Democrats are crushing Republicans in new voter registration this year by more than 400,000 registration forms.
While Democrats were complimentary to Scott on his handling of the storm response, Scott flatly denied their request, in part because he doesn’t have explicit authority to grant it. But he also has other reasons, too:
“Everybody has had a lot of time to register,” Scott told reporters late Thursday, ahead of the Friday letter. “On top of that, we’ve got lots of opportunities to vote: Early voting, absentee voting and Election Day. So, I don’t intend to make any changes.”