Criticizing the state's decision to block the University of Florida's student union as an early voting site, Charlie Crist posted a Facebook notice Friday stating he'll meet with students and voters at 12:45 p.m. Wednesday at Turlington Plaza to discuss the issue.
The posting follows a tweet from the Democratic candidate at 6:15 p.m. Thursday: "This is an outrage," Crist tweeted. "Stay tuned on how we can protest Rick Scott's awful insult to every student & voter in the state."
To address complaints of long waits at polling sites in 2012 that attracted national attention, legislators last year expanded the list of early voting sites to include fairgrounds, civic centers, courthouses, county commission buildings, stadiums, convention centers and government-owned community centers.
In response to a request by the city of Gainesville to use the Reitz Union for early voting in March's municipal elections, Maria Matthews, director of the state Division of Elections, which is run by a Scott appointee, Secretary of State Ken Detzner, wrote in an advisory opinion that "the terms 'convention center' and 'government-owned community center' cannot be construed so broadly as to include the Reitz Union."
Crist joins the growing number of critics blasting the state's decision, including the League of Women Voters, election supervisors and Democratic legislators.
In a statement Friday, House Minority Leader Perry Thurston (D-Fort Lauderdale) said “Governor Scott and state elections officials seem once again to be trying to suppress the vote of university students and other Floridians. I urge him to stop laying roadblocks to voting. The governor should do more to encourage, not discourage, voting among young people who are interested and engaged citizens.”