There will be a gubernatorial election in 2014 in Florida and the strategy is to win the position by spending the most money. In 2010, Gov. Rick Scott spent more than $70 million of his own money to win the election and this time around, he will spend $120 million from the Republican Party and his coffers.
Scott is supported by the tea party movement and large corporations in the state but Crist is supported by grassroots Floridians. In order for Crist to win, he must expand the base by registering more new voters who are African Americans and Latinos.
Crist knows that he will not be able to raise more money than Scott but Florida has more registered Democrats on the voter rolls.
In 2012, more than 8.4 million Floridians voted in the federal election and President Barack Obama, a Democrat won. Floridians went to the polls and waited up to five hours to make their voices heard. Republicans in 2014 want to control and limit the number of voters who turnout.
The Republicans do not like early voting and they will work to decrease the number of early voting sites.
Scott has already started a new voter purge whose objective is to take Latino Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans, Caribbean Americans and ex-felons off the voter rolls.
Since Scott has been in office, Florida’s Clemency Board, of which he is the chairman, has been applying the most restrictive criteria in the nation when it comes to those who have served their sentences.
There are hundreds of thousands of Floridians who have completed their sentences for felony convictions but who are still prohibited from exercising their right to vote.
As a result of this decision, from our governor and the attorney general, minorities are disproportionately impacted by the restrictive civil rights restorative policies. Scott says he is doing his job by protecting Florida residents but it appears to me that he is shrinking the number of minorities able to vote.
The 2014 gubernatorial campaign will probably go down in the record books as one of the sleazy and nastiest races in Florida’s election history.
The point man for the second voter purge is Secretary of State Ken Detzner, who has already started with voter monkey business by issuing three weeks ago an “executive directive.”
In this “executive directive,” the Secretary of State ordered that election officials shouldn’t solicit the return of absentee ballots to any location except the supervisor’s office. This “executive order” did not make sense because several counties allow people to turn in absentee ballots at early voting sites or secure drop-off boxes and there have never been any problems.
The goal is to restrict voting and make it harder for Floridians to vote. It’s 2014, and Scott is willing to bend and break some rules, as long as he can win the gubernatorial election.
*Roger Caldwell, a community activist, author, journalist, radio host and CEO of On Point Media Group, lives in Orlando. His book, The Inspiring Journey of a Stroke Survivor, details the story of his recovery from a massive stroke. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org