Please, Rick Scott, do not extend early voting (your opponents need the issue in 2014!)

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Florida Democrats on Thursday urged Gov. Rick Scott to extend early voting by an extra day, saying a newly compressed early voting period has resulted in long lines at polls.

Please, Gov. Scott, whatever you do, do not extend early voting!

After all, your opponents need the issue in 2014.

When Charlie Crist runs against you in 2014, what starker contrast could there be than how the two of you handled the early voting issue?

On one hand, Crist, in defiance of his then-party’s lawyers, but just like Jeb Bush, extended early voting hours when it became apparent that some voters would otherwise be disenfranchised. On the other hand, Scott and the Florida GOP, so eager to throw the state to Mitt Romney, will have none of it.

“Early voting will end Saturday night,” Scott told reporters at a GOP fundraiser in Newberry.

Republican Party of Florida Executive Director Mike Grissom went one step further, taunting Democrats by saying “For one side to demand that we break the law because they feel like they are losing is wrong.”

Thank you, Mr. Grissom, et al for not taking this issue off the table for the 2014 gubernatorial race. It can go right into the pile with Scott’s rejection of federal funds for high speed rail and his decision to not expand Medicaid — and get all of that federal money — as part of health care reform.

Florida’s Republican-led Legislature reduced the number of early-voting days from 14 in 2008 to eight this year, a move widely perceived as at effort to limit the Democratic voting base in the state. Obama carried Florida in 2008, but is locked in a very close race with Romney in the state, which has the largest amount of electoral votes of any of the swing states.

So, again, thank you, Governor Scott, for not extending early voting. It just makes the decision not to vote for you in 2014 all that much easier.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, 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.