Joy Reid: Will the 2012 election turn out to be Rick Scott's Waterloo?

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In Joy Reid’s latest column, she explores the many ways in which Florida once again screwed up the election — and it (once again) didn’t even matter. But you know who it might matter to?

Rick Scott. Why?

Because while the county debacles were caused by human error and incompetence, the interference with the voting process engineered in Tallahassee was deliberate.

There was the clumsy attempt to purge the voter rolls to prevent nonexistent voter fraud — which was pursued by Secretary of State Ken Detzner on the orders of Gov. Scott. That saw Florida brushed back by the U.S. Justice Department and ultimately cutting a deal with federal immigration authorities, effectively, to scrutinize voters with Hispanic surnames. Detzner’s predecessor Kurt Browning resigned in January, having delayed implementation of the purge because he lacked confidence in the accuracy of the initial list’s 180,000 names.

In the end, Scott’s purge yielded only embarrassment, as a World War II veteran became its most high profile victim.

And the purge’s obvious goal — minimizing the impact of Florida’s growing, and largely Democratic, non-Cuban Hispanic population — didn’t even work. President Obama won a commanding 62 percent of Florida’s Hispanic vote in winning the state.

Scott and his party’s attempts to cleanse the electorate of voters who don’t favor Republicans didn’t start or end there. Before that, they took an axe to early voting, cutting the state’s 14-day period to just eight days.

As if to put an exclamation point on their endeavor, Republicans lopped off the Sunday before Election Day, which traditionally is deemed by black churches nationwide as “souls to the polls” Sunday when in those states that allow early voting, churches prod and bus their congregants to the voting booths.

The result? An epic backlash took place in Florida, as black churches and voting-rights advocates moved the souls to vote a weekend earlier, and early-voting lines stretched around blocks and into the dead of night. …

Read Reid’s full column here.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.