Will Florida Early Voting Be Extended after Packages Detonated at Polling Place?

Last updated on February 8th, 2013 at 11:27 am

Two suspicious packages caused authorities to shut down an early voting location in Winter Park, Florida for several hours today as bomb squads detonated the packages.

Bay News 9 reported, “The Orange County bomb squad detonated one device found outside. But a second device was then reported nearby, so the bomb squad had to detonate that one as well.”

There were two packages found and it’s not clear yet what was in them. One of them was a “soft-sided lunch-type cooler with a wire hanging out of it.”

Talking Points Memo has confirmed:

Authorities in Winter Park, Fla. have detonated a second suspicius package found near an early voting site on Saturday, a spokersperson for the Winter Park Public Library confirmed to TPM.

“They detonated it 15 minutes ago,” Mary Gail Coffee said. “No update on what it was.”

Voting had been suspended at the site, but is now resumed. Any voter who makes it to the polling location by 8PM will be allowed to vote (their regular hours).

Obama is leading in early voting. Early voting helps Democrats. In Florida, Democrats are leading by 187,000 early in person ballots. Early voting in Florida is already a hassle, with up to five hour lines.

Governor Rick Scott has refused to extend early voting due to long lines resulting from his cuts to early voting. He has refused to deal properly with “glitches” that resulted in voters thrown off of the rolls and requested ballots not received on time. He’s apparently unconcerned with alleged rampant election fraud that already took place in numerous locations in Florida courtesy of the GOP hired Sproul.

A little real or imagined domestic terrorism might well scare away those voters who are willing to stand in up to 5 hour lines to exercise their franchise. Either way, even if the packages were not a threat, voters are being intimidated from voting and now another polling place has been shut down for several hours. This is clearly a double win for Republicans who have made no secret about their desire to disenfranchise as many early voters as possible. The incident is now being investigated.

On Friday, Senator Bill Nelson asked Republican Governor Scott to issue an emergency order extending early voting to no avail. Governor Crist did issue such an order in the 2008 election and Republicans blamed him for Obama taking the state.

If Rick Scott isn’t a partisan hack, perhaps this latest incident might persuade him to allow early voting on the Sunday before election day. In contrast to Scott’s willful obstruction of voting rights, New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie has opened offices for early voting and will be providing paper ballots to residents impacted by Frankenstorm Sandy.

Ironically, Bay News 9 reports that the Elections Office at 119 W. Kaley Street in Orlando “is open tomorrow, Sunday, November 4th, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., for in-office absentee voting.” Absentee voting favors Republicans. Is there any reason not to extend this courtesy to regular early voters, other than the fact that it might not bode well for Republicans?

No word yet on how long it will take Governor Rick Scott to call this an act of terrorism (“act of terror” will not suffice, just a head’s up), even if successfully averted by our fearless government employees (also known as “thugs” in Republican circles).

What’s Scott hiding? Why didn’t he do more to keep polling sites safe? How was someone able to leave two packages in a polling site? Where was security?

Is it possible that he’s waiting for information before commenting? I thought we didn’t do that anymore, based on the Republicans’ Benghazi gate assault. Our leaders should know right now what happened. This happened around noon today. What’s the hold up? Tick tock!

Hey, these are the new standards set by Republicans. I can’t help it if they’re crazy and sound insanely partisan. They are both of those things. Sane people realize that it takes a while for investigators to fully vet information, but no one has accused the Republican Party of being sane for quite a while now. Still, Republicans should be held to the same crazy standards they set for others, otherwise what do they stand for?

While I don’t in reality hold this incident or his failure to respond yet against Governor Scott, there is no excuse for not extending early voting.

Image: Video still of one of the packages from BayNews9

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