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Charlie Crist: Rick Scott's voter purge is 'not doing democracy a favor'

By on July 25, 2012

Efforts to remove voters from the rolls because of possible ineligibility, reduce early voting and other issues that may make it harder to vote are “unconscionable,” former Gov. Charlie Crist said Wednesday during an appearance on MSNBC.

Crist, an independent who was a Republican for most of the time he was governor, said “it’s a great concern” that the administration of Gov. Rick Scott, which followed him, has aggressively been trying to push for removal of ineligible voters through a check of records seeking to find people who may be in the country illegally. Crist noted the Scott administration also reversed a move that Crist championed to automatically restore the voting rights of former felons, and that Scott signed a law that, among other things, reduced the number of days during which people can vote early. “In Florida, we have a history of having some pretty close elections,” Crist said. “The idea of making it more difficult to exercise this precious right … is just unconscionable to me,” said Crist, who also agreed with criticism of a Pennsylvania requirement that voters have driver’s licenses. “If you make it more difficult … you’re not doing democracy a favor, you’re impeding that process,” Crist said. He said he hasn’t decided whether to support either presidential candidate yet, but that he is following the election closely. Crist, who was defeated in a bid for a U.S. Senate seat by Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, declined to comment much on what he thought of Rubio’s rise to stardom and place as a vice presidential contender, other than to say “I think he’s a real nice guy.”

Material from the News Service of Florida was used in this report.

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