Former Florida GOP leaders say voter suppression was reason they pushed new election law
A new Florida law that contributed to long voter lines and caused some to abandon voting altogether was intentionally designed by Florida GOP staff and consultants to inhibit Democratic voters, former GOP officials and current GOP consultants have told The Palm Beach Post.
Republican leaders said in proposing the law that it was meant to save money and fight voter fraud. But a former GOP chairman and former Gov. Charlie Crist, both of whom have been ousted from the party, now say that fraud concerns were advanced only as subterfuge for the law’s main purpose: GOP victory.
Former Republican Party of Florida Chairman Jim Greer says he attended various meetings, beginning in 2009, at which party staffers and consultants pushed for reductions in early voting days and hours.
‘The Republican Party, the strategists, the consultants, they firmly believe that early voting is bad for Republican Party candidates,’ Greer told The Post. ‘It’s done for one reason and one reason only. … ‘We’ve got to cut down on early voting because early voting is not good for us,’ ’ Greer said he was told by those staffers and consultants.
‘They never came in to see me and tell me we had a (voter) fraud issue,’ Greer said. ‘It’s all a marketing ploy.’
Greer is now under indictment, accused of stealing $200,000 from the party through a phony campaign fundraising operation. He, in turn, has sued the party, saying GOP leaders knew what he was doing and voiced no objection.
‘Jim Greer has been accused of criminal acts against this organization and anything he says has to be considered in that light,’ says Brian Burgess, Florida GOP spokesman since September.