Florida residents have expressed their vitriol with the state’s troublesome elections process in waves in recent days, by firing off thousands of angry emails to Gov. Rick Scott.
From all over the state, Floridians have bombarded the governor’s email address with their voting horror stories, and their embarrassment that Florida was still counting votes long after Pres. Barack Obama was declared the winner of Tuesday’s election.
The messages—and the national ridicule--have not been reflected in Scott's public statements. He maintains that Florida “did the right thing.” Scott did say he would talk to his Sec. of State, Ken Detzner about possible fixes.
The email influx started as early as late October, as the shortened early voting period opened to massive and unprecedented lines that stretched for hours.
Wrote Pamela Snodgrass of Palm Beach County in late October: “I just wanted to let you know that I am extremely disappointed in your lack of action. I have tried to do early voting on 3 separate occasions. Unfortunately, the minimum wait time was 3 hrs in Palm Beach County (Lantana). This is ridiculous!! What are we to expect if we wait till election day?"
As the early voting period neared its Saturday deadline and the lines persisted, many voters echoed pleas from top leaders calling on Scott to extend early voting into Sunday.
From Keith Mixon, of Palm Beach County: “Extend the early voting!!! I am a citizen that takes my right and obligation to vote seriously. I am not able to wait in line for up to six hours to vote. This is ridiculous and I understand that you cut the early voting time IN HALF! What are you thinking!!! OPEN THE POLLS AND EXTEND THE EARLY VOTING!”
Scott denied those pleas, only to see the voting situation in parts of the state deteriorate into unprecedented chaos on Tuesday.
And as the worst day of voting problems occurred—Election Day—voters lit up Scott’s inbox the more, with emails pouring in from those who had been forced to wait in 6-hour lines, and others who watched Florida's troubled voting play out on national television.
Wrote Phil Peterson of Volusia County: “Sir, It is an embarrassment to Democracy the way you shortened voting days and refused to extend them when necessary. Your attempt at voter suppression is outrageous and I`m sure that Florida voters will suppress there votes for you the next time you run for office.”
Read more emails below:
From: S. Hornsby
Message Body: Dear Governor,
Once again Florida is the laughing stock of the nation due the states complete inability to manage the voting process. I hold you accountable for this. What is your office doing to correct the situation and why do we still not have results from an election completed last Tuesday? I await your response.
From: J. McGrogan
Message Body: I stood in line for 2 hours listening to one voting machine BEEP every time someone tried to use it. It took each person 5 minutes to feed the ballots into the machine while someone stood there resetting it after each page.After 2 hours I was ten people away only to here the machine was down for good,to put our ballots into the slot on top of all the ones that had been scanned.I don't think for one minute someone rescaned all those ballots to see which ones were scaned and which ones were not.Now four days later they don't have them counted.I and many others don't buy the excuse they are giving.They had 4 years to prepare for this,they new how many ballots there would be and should have had more machines THAT WORK and more people to count them.I feel I wasted my time,my vote don't count and I want heads to roll.These people should all be fired and their pay given back to the tax payers.this state has become a embarassment on election day.
From: K. Rainey
Message Body: As our Governor it is urgent that you address the continued issues we have with voting in our wonderful state. I am tired of being the laughing stock of this country. Why in the world would you have shortened the early voting when the ballot was the longest in state history? This needs to be dealt with immediately!!!!
From: N. Deacy
Message body: What a horrible experience I had yesterday. 3 hours waiting time to vote with one check-out machine at Our Lady Of Light Catholic Church (precinct 121) in South Ft. Myers. This was at 2 pm and the line had doubled by the time I finally was leaving. Many people went home rather than wait in line, so they did not get to vote.
Due diligence was obviously not done regarding time studies and population
movement. I request your resignation and would only hope that the Ft. Myers
public does not have to suffer to vote again in 4 years.
A Disgusted Voter,
From: J. Salberg
Message Body: My husband and I (voting early) waited more than 2 hours to vote. Some of my neighbors waited a lot longer than that.
I believe there were not enough scanners, not enough voting sites, not enough hours, not enough volunteers---and the ballot was too complicated because of the amendments.
I am asking for Sharon Harrington's resignation. I am also suggesting a symposium of FL residents to make suggestions for upcoming years. I would be willing to volunteer for that committee.
The best and brightest of minds in this nation work in government. We should
be able to get it right! Again, I am asking for Ms. Harrington's resignation.
From: M. Marc
Message Body: I think that denying early voting to your constituents is disgraceful! I voted for you and had thousands of others do the same!
I can promise you that when your re-elction time comes I will be sure to work just as hard to make sure your opponent wins!