Florida Senator Rick Scott has written the most blatantly obvious attempt to steal an election in history. When naming his bill Scott followed a common theme among Republicans, calling it the exact opposite of what it is designed to do. Normally, you would hide your actions when attempting to steal an election, but Scott won’t need to hide anything because after his bill gets passed, the theft would be perfectly legal.
Scott’s bill, the “Help America Vote Act of 2020” is so blatant and malignant, it’s passing could end the very notion of real democracy in America. The plan is to limit the counting of mail-in ballots to three days: the day before the election, the day of the election, and the day after. You can get an idea of how ridiculous this is when you understand that Florida currently allows the counting of ballots 22 days before the election. In Scott’s plan, any mail-in ballots received outside of the window will have to be discarded. Any ballots not counted within the three-day time frame will also be discarded. In the 2000 election, military ballots in Florida arrived well after the election.
Scott didn’t include any funding to help count the onslaught of mail in votes to be counted in this 48 hour window and he conveniently opposed any funding for the election in the COVID relief bills.
Rick Scott’s plan would also completely disenfranchise the military vote. If any military votes have not arrived or are unable to be counted within the 48-hour window, they along with every other mail-in ballot will be discarded. This strategy, if one can call it that, runs counter to the 2000 vote in Florida where Republicans were very keen to get every military vote counted. The military doesn’t appear to be leaning toward Trump, so taking the right to vote from the military makes sense for the Republican leader.
Rick Scott’s plan would, with just six weeks left until the election, create chaos across the country. Rick Scott knows this, there is no need to pretend he doesn’t. With this plan, you can see where Republicans are headed, create as much chaos as possible in the voting system, claim the voting process is flawed and when it crashes, circumvent the voting process completely and force the decision to the Supreme Court. This right along with slowing down the mail is Trump’s backup plan to losing the election.
We can see now when Trump enablers like Rick Scott don’t respect the norms of democracy, it’s easy to undermine it from within, and that is exactly what Rick Scotts “Help America Vote Act of 2020” would do if it ever became law.