The day in Crist-ory the Florida GOP prefer you forget

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October 28, 2008 is a day in Crist-ory the Florida GOP would prefer you regret.

According to former State Senator Dan Gelber, who writes on his blog and on ContextFlorida, on this day five years ago:

Florida was in the midst of early voting. A few years earlier the party of Lincoln had pushed through the legislature a law that was undeniably intended to suppress the early vote of African-Americans, Hispanics and young people. 

And it worked as designed.  Voting lines stretched for blocks and waits of 5-6 hours were commonplace at polls.

As the Democratic Leader in the Legislature at the time, I called Republican Governor Crist and told him it was un-American to keep citizens from voting. He told me he had seen the lines, heard of elderly Floridians fainting from the heat, and was horrified at the notion that any Floridian had to take a day off of work to vote. 

He wondered out loud how many Floridians just gave up and went home. 

Within minutes, and over the objection of his own staff, Charlie Crist signed Executive Order 08-217, extending the hours for early voting for all Floridians. 

Read Senator Gelber’s full post here.

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.