PoliticsNation | November 02, 2012
>>> there is just one day left for early voting in florida and all right that state is showing major strains dealing with the vote. the miami herald simply says it's a nightmare. it's a new form of voter suppression . long lines that could turn the tide in this critical swing state .
>> early voting ending tomorrow. a lot of people are trying to vote early while they can. but look at the long line of people.
>> you can see the cars off there in the distance.
>> down this very long line. these folks are rifgs between 9:00 and 10:00 and their estimated wait is up to four hours.
>> i waited for like four hours and then left.
>> it should never be this hard just to vote.
>> he's right. it should not be that hard to vote. just take a look at this. in some places it takes as long as four hours just to get inside the polling place . democrats are asking governor rick scott to extend voting hours, something other governors have done in the past but governor scott is saying no. today we called to ask why and we're still waiting for an answer. but the head of florida 's republican party said, quote, for one side to demand that we break the law because they feel like they are losing. break the law? since when is voting breaking the law? decades ago we faced jim crow and the polls. today it's fewer hours and longer lines. but the goal is the same. voter suppression . joining me now is former florida governor charlie crist . he's now an independent. tonight he's introducing former president clinton at an obama rally. governor, thanks so much for your time tonight.
>> reverend, it's great to be with you, reverend al. thank you.
>> now, let me ask you directly. wouldn't extending voting hours be the right thing for governor scott to do here? you did it in 2008 as the governor of florida and you are republican. what would be wrong with scott doing that today?
>> there would be nothing wrong with it, reverend. it would be the right thing to do. it's a precious, cherished right and all of us want to have an opportunity to exercise. yesterday i was in miami guard dense in north dade county and the wait was 2 1/2 to three hours. it's unconscienceable to let that go on. the people of florida deserve better and they deserve a right to vote.
>> i have been down in florida with the nonpartisan voting and i saw the lines last weekend in miami -dade and broward, all over the state. some waiting as much as three and four hours. we would want people to vote. what exactly is behind this idea of stopping people from voting or not extending the hours, particularly when you set the precedent as a republican yourself in the next general election when you saw long lines?
>> the only thing that makes sense is if you want to suppress the vote of people that they think might vote for president obama . i mean, one of the other things that you know that they drk reverend al, they took out sunday voting, the sunday before the news day of election day .
>> there's a tradition in the african-american community to go out after church and vote but we did that last sunday.
>> now, the other thing that has compounded it is that these ballots in miami -dade are ten page ballots. you're dealing with extensive ballots that take time for people to go through. so people around the country need to know it's not just walking in and choosing a name. these are ten-page ballots with people lined up outside waiting for their opportunities.
>> you couldn't be more right. we put 11 amendments on this ballot. it makes it ridiculously long. people get in and start to vote and stay there for a long time because they are trying to read and decipher everything on that ballot and you have to wonder if the intent was to do just that, slow people down. but that's where we are right now. i have faith. i have faith that the people are going to do the right thing, that they are going to vote for president obama . they are going to continue to give him four more years and he will continue to heal our nation and he's been a great leader for all of us.
>> in 2008 when you extended early voting , governor, you said, i have a responsibility to the voters of our state to ensure that the maximum number of citizens can participate in the electoral process and every citizen can exercise the right to vote. that's what you said when you signed that emergency act. governor, you did it in 2008 . governor scott will not do it today. that's why many of us are wondering, is this voter suppression , partisan politics ?
>> i think it is voter suppression . i think it's ridiculous and unfortunate. my heart bleeds for the people of florida . they ought to have the opportunity to exercise this cherished right to vote. we've got to remember, a lot of people fought very hard for people to have that right. some died for it. we ought to respect that.
>> i know you've got to go and introduce the president. thank you for talking about this important issue, governor crist. thank you.
>> reverend, it's an honor to be with you. thank you. keep up the good work.
>> now i want to bring in melissa harris - perry , host of the melissa harris - perry show here on msnbc. melissa , thank you for being with us tonight.
>> what do you make of governor scott 's refusal to extend the voting?
>> this is clearly a tactic to suppress the vote, to suppress the vote that he believes will benefit president obama . it's the governor's attempt to steal the election. the only thing we could care about is fundamentally what is the will of the people ? are the people who are voting, be are they legitimate voters? is it their right to cast the vote and do we have every reason to believe and it's absolutely true that it's the will of the voters to cast the vote and the issue of hours, one hour here or there, it's ridiculous for them -- for the governor to act as if this is a law & order issue. this is a basic issue of democracy.
>> if people are standing in line, and as you know, i've been in florida half this week. if they are in line for hours, clearly they want to vote and then you start with saying that people are fraudulently using voter i. dd., now you won't even he can tend the hours to give people a ballot. this is a ballot. ten pages that you have to go through. every voter has to go through this to vote, through all of these pages. now, you've got thousands online, you have people trying to read and vote properly so they are supporting what ever amendments and initiatives that they agree.
>> exactly. yes.
>> all of this to make it more difficult to practice democracy yet we'll send kids out of florida to fight for democracy all over the world and we do this to them at home.
>> there is not an american, democrat, republican, oboma supporter who should be anything other than completely disgusted with what is going on in florida right now. this is about a fundamental health of our democracy. this is about a republican elected official being willing to change the outcome of an election, purely based on partisan interest, not based on the protection of the vote. this is about the suppression of the vote.
>> and let me be clear, this is not partisan because we just had on a governor who was a republican governor in 2008 when president obama was winning who extended the voting hours to protect the rights of the citizens of florida .
>> reverend al, they are always talking about how government should be like a private industry. if you're already in there, they might close the door behind you but you'll always be able to finish your purchase. if you are in line when -- the vote at the point in which the polls close, you cut off the line and let the line go all the way through. it's a very simple solution.
>> well, maybe not in a democracy business, maybe you assume the store was opened for other reasons. but governor scott , we call to raise the question, you didn't call us back. you don't have to call me back but call the people of florida back and tell them that you're a governor that believes in democracy, extend the line, let people vote, seniors that have stood out there all da own citizens vote. melissa harris - perry , thank you. you can watch melissa 's show on saturdays and sundays here on msnbc. we will be right back. we're going to talk about donald trump yujumped back on the