“Your people can’t get it together,” Adams wrote Thursday. “Who won the election?”
Florida elections officials Friday were still counting absentee ballots in Palm Beach County, and though Obama held a 60,000-vote edge statewide, news organizations had yet to declare Obama the winner of Florida’s 29 electoral votes.
What Detzner did not say on TV was that for years, Republican legislators in Tallahassee have ignored pleas by county election supervisors to let them expand early voting to sites beyond their own offices, city halls and libraries, so crowds at each site would be smaller.
For the past three years, Sen. Nan Rich, D-Weston, filed bills to add flexibility to the choices of early voting sites. The 2012 version, SB 516, was shelved and never heard by a committee chaired by Sen. Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, R-Miami, whose county had by far the longest lines and who voted with other Republicans to reduce early voting days.
“The Legislature wouldn’t hear that bill,” Rich said. “The governor and Republican-dominated Legislature caused this to happen, by reducing early voting days and by putting all of those constitutional amendments on the ballot.”
Rich and other Democrats say the limited sites and long ballot were a sinister plot by Republicans to make it harder for Democrats to vote.
Elections are run by counties in Florida, but are governed by state law.
In 2011, Scott signed into law changes that cut early voting days from 14 to eight. As the early voting lines grew longer last month, he refused requests to issue an executive order adding more days. The day after the election, he said: “Let’s look and see what we can improve.”
In turning down a request last week by Monroe County elections chief Harry Sawyer to add additional days of early voting, Detzner said the state had no authority to do so except during a state of emergency that could risk lives or property.
CNN’s Banfield, who said she spent 14 hours at Miami-area voting sites Tuesday, peppered Detzner with tough questions and demanded he explain why the state didn’t expand the locations.
“We were following the law,” Detzner said. “It appears as though now we need to redress the issue regarding the locations. The governor has asked me to look at that issue.”
Banfield told viewers it was time for Scott to “face the music” and explain what went wrong.
As she closed her program, Friday, she spoke directly to Scott, noting that he has declined two offers to appear on the air.
“We’d really like you to join us,” she said, “and answer for your state.”
Tampa Bay Times researcher Natalie Watson contributed to this report.