2012 Election Results Won't Alter How Rick Scott Looks to 2014
Around the State
Gov. Rick Scott said he’s willing to review if improvements can be made to the voting process in Florida.
But don’t expect him to diverge from a mantra of jobs, education and affordable-living conditions as the focus shifts to his own re-election.
“In two years my goal is to make sure all Floridians know that I’m focused on the three things that are most important to them,” Scott said at Tallahassee Regional Airport on Wednesday, in reference to the 2014 contest.
Otherwise, the governor deflected questions about what Tuesday’s results could mean to his own re-election efforts by saying he wants to “make sure we unite and focus on the things Americans need.”
Florida’s presidential outcome remains undetermined while Democrats have made slight inroads into the Republican majority in the state’s congressional delegation and broken the supermajority in both chambers of the state Legislature.
Hoping to capitalize on Scott’s low approval ratings, and taking delight in Tuesday’s election results, the Florida Democratic Party took aim at the governor while highlighting election victories as the results came out.
“Tonight, the people of South Florida sent a strong message to Gov. Rick Scott and the Republicans in Tallahassee,” Florida Democratic Party Chairman Rod Smith declared in media releases accompanying Democratic wins.
“Floridians are ready to put an end to the GOP’s failed policies that have moved our state in the wrong direction in favor of a fresh approach aimed at strengthening middle-class families and ending the corruption and waste in government.”
As for complaints raised about long lines during early voting and on Election Day, Scott said the state government should do the same thing any business does after finishing any project: review to see what can be done better.
“Let’s go back and look what went right, what can we improve, and how can we improve things for you as citizens of the state and how can we do it cost-effectively,” he said.
Secretary of State Ken Detzner had said Tuesday there may be some tweaks to the process, and that they want to involve county supervisors of elections into any proposals, but otherwise the process is “just about right.”
Neither Scott nor Detzner mentioned what specifically they have discussed that may be reviewed.
In 2011, the Republican-dominated state Legislature extended the maximum hours allowed per day for early voting to 12 while cutting down the voting period from 14 to eight days. The change maintained the number of early voting hours at 96, while letting supervisors open offices for people before and after normal work hours.
The change didn't stop the Florida Democratic Party from filing a lawsuit seeking to extend the early voting period this year.
Reach Jim Turner at email@example.com or at (772) 215-9889.