BOCA RATON, Fla. - Winding lines at the polls weren't enough to convince Republican Florida Governor Rick Scott to extend early voting. The no-action is drawing criticism from the other side of the aisle.
"You can see the lines behind us, how many people are showing up to vote. Despite our Governor's efforts to suppress the vote, taking away 6 days of early voting, people are still showing up in droves," says Patrick Murphy, Democratic candidate for U.S. Congress, District 22.
"I can't see a good rational for not extending the early voting period. It worked 4 years ago, more people voted, the lines weren't long. We scrapped it, why cut something back that is already working?" says Dr. Robert Watson, WPTV Political Analyst.
Republican State Representative Patrick Rooney, Jr. responded to those claims.
"I didn't view it as suppression, I view it as keeping it condensed with the same amount of hours as previously. There's still ample time to vote," says State Rep. Rooney.
The Florida Legislature reduced early voting from 14 days to 8 days, but kept the same number of hours available to early voters. Monday, Governor Rick Scott argued the change brought out more voters.
"Early voting is open 12 hours a day, go before work or after, that increases the chances of voting early," said Gov. Scott.
Democrats claim the move is an effort to restrict early voting, which is historically more popular among liberals. We asked the governor if it was a political move.
"Here's what is political. I want everyone with the right to vote to register, to get involved and to vote. 4.4 million people have already voted before Election Day," said Gov. Scott.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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