PoliticsNation | November 05, 2012
>>> big news tonight on voting in the aftermath of hurricane sandy. governor andrew cuomo of new york says new yorkers displayed by the storm can cast their ballot anywhere tomorrow. this is how democracy should work. our leaders should make it easier to vote, not harder. but for more than a year, republicans have been conspireing to take away voting rights . in two key states, florida and ohio . republican officials have cut back early voting so much that people have been forced to wait in line for two, three, four, as much as eight hours.
>> the line is wrapping around the building. morning morning calm , unlike sunday. they brought out the absentee ballot boxes. they are out front right now because they are trying to streamline this so the folks dropping off absentee ballots don't have to wait in a long line.
>> this is the line outside of the cuyahoga county board of elections. we're told that some people waited as much as two hours to cast their votes.
>> how long have you been waiting in line?
>> it seems like forever.
>> two hours, two 1/2 2 1/2 hours.
>> voting is a fundamental right. it shouldn't change based on which party is in power. joining me now are two lawmakers who have been standing up for voting rights , marcia fudge and fredricka wilson .
>> thank you, reverend al.
>> congresswoman fudge, let me start with you. are these long lines another form of voter suppression , in your opinion?
>> oh, i certainly think that they are. let me say this, reverend al. i'm happy to see the long lines because that says to me all of the dirty tricks that have been pulled by our secretary of state are not working and our people are determined to vote no matter what it takes.
>> you know, congresswoman fredricka wilson , down in your district i was there for operation eliminate with curry and other networks. long lineses from the first day of early voting , you were there helping to lead the way. it seems like this has backfired. the more the right wingers tried to stop people, people have said we're going to stand up anyway but should they have to suffer through this kind of deliberate form of trying to try their patience and wear them down?
>> it is totally outrageous. this is the classic example of voter suppression . we have 30 items on the ballots half of which are led by the republican-led legislature. the ballot takes one person at least 30 minutes to vote. plus, they have cut back on the amount of early voting days from 14. now we have eight. they won a lawsuit, we didn't. and there are only 20 sites opened in the whole miami- dade county and we have actually 829 voting precincts. they opened 20. so consequently, when the polls closed at 7:00 p.m . each night, there are hundreds of people still in line and they are not able to vote until 1:00 and 2:00 in the morning. people are standing in line for seven and eight hours. they are bringing their chairs, they are bringing lemonade, they are making friends. they are not going to stop us. however, this is outrageous.
>> now, congresswoman fudge, we've seen the fight from sb 5 all the way through to now in ohio . secretary of state that seemed determined to stop people. has this backfired? have they really awakened to sleeping giant of people surely determined to have their democratic democratic vote and their democratic empowered values protected?
>> there is no question that it's backfired on the secretary of state, reverend al. when you look at what early voting has done across the state. mind you, we lost nine days. the secretary of state did everything he could possibly do to keep us from voting this weekend, even including today. we had to go to court. he appealed to the supreme court of the united states to try to prevent us from having voting this weekend. so even with nine days fewer voting days and restricted hours, we have surpassed everything anyone thought we could do. and not because people have this desire to vote early but they know if they don't they don't know what will happen because of all of the things going on in ohio . so it has backfired. people are taking it very personally. we look at an election which in 2008 we said was historic. this election is personal and we are not going to allow the secretary of state or anyone else to restrict or in any way hamper our ability to go out and vote.
>> congresswoman wilson , what's going to happen in florida tomorrow? who's going to win?
>> oh, barack obama . this is barack obama territory. and we will stand in line for two days because as long as you are in line by 7:00 p.m . on tuesday, you can vote. and we have our mayor has opened the elections department . so we have people going in voting with absentee ballots today, which is something that the naacp and democratic party filed a lawsuit in florida and we got permission. so we're working all of the angles but the people who were denied the right to vote during early voting , you will see them in record numbers on tuesday and we will be shuffling them back and forth in buses and taxis and all kinds of transportation to and from the polls and just call us. let us know and we will be there. because this is obama country.
>> what's going to happen in ohio , congresswoman fudge?
>> reverend al, i am so confident that the president is going to win in ohio . certainly cuyahoga county where i represent is a major portion of the state of ohio as it relates to the democratic vote. understand -- i say this to all of our residents, if you have any problem, we will be there. we will have as many observers as they will have. we will make sure that we make the process as easy as we possibly can. we are certain that there are going to be some problems with provisional ballots but we have people there to help and provide whatever assistance you might need. i am confident that right will win and when right wins our president is going to win. so i expect a victory in ohio tomorrow.
>> when you say proper provisional ballots , what should people do if they have a problem? will you have people at the polls in ohio and florida ? congresswoman fudge, let me start with you.
>> yes, we have not only observers but judges in every single polling place. we have a direct line . there is a direct line to an attorney's group. we are prepared for whether it's true the vote or whoever it may be.
>> and you as well, congresswoman wilson , people can call, organizing a lot of our groups are nonpartisan but certainly they are not going to let people be robbed of their vote.
>> yes. and we have the justice department here.
>> the justice department is here also.
>> macia fudge, thank you both for your time tonight.
>> thank you.
>>> your right to vote has been paid for with the blood and tears and generations of sacrifice. we'll look at the long road in 2012 and what it took to