Skip to main content

tv   Voters in America Who Counts  CNN  October 20, 2012 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT

8:00 pm
my name is lavon bright-brycy. the first time i voted was in 1966. >> i'm dennis baxley and the first time i voted was in 1970 when i turned 18 years of age. and i never missed an election. >> when i hit that parkway that goes up to the capital, i just still get this tingle that this is self-government. >> all right. >> brought all your team? >> yes. >> good morning, ladies. come on in. we get to do this and why me? all right. what are we going to talk about? why me out of 156,000 people would they pick me and let me go and represent them in their seat in the florida house?
8:01 pm
>> thank you very much. >> thank you so much. >> thank you for your time. >> good to see you. >> thank for giving me a piece of your saturday. when i look at these five kids and seven grandchildren, i'm very focused on the next generation. am i blessed man or what? i can't give these kids a diminished future. i have to go do what i can to make sure they have the opportunity. somebody did it for me. and, yes, i'm emotional about that. it's why it's particularly painful when people question your motives. but you know what, i don't do it for my critics. i do it for the people that i serve and the future of these kids. >> 115 members voting a quorum is present, mr. speaker. >> take up and read the next
8:02 pm
message. >> one of the first shots and perhaps the biggest in the battle for the white house is fired not in the caucuses, not in the primaries but right here in the florida legislature. >> hb-155. act related to elections. >> and it is fired with a silencer. >> if we don't take action -- >> quietly and far from the national limelight the republican-led legislature debates house bill 1355. >> representative baxley, final debate. >> for everyone to test that they live somewhere and, folk, that's just not right. >> it is a bill that makes 80 changes to florida's election law, one change makes registering voters harder for community groups who typically reach out more to minorities. these groups must turn in registration forms within 48 hours or face $1,000 fines. false registration can lead to even higher fines. and up to five years in prison. >> accountability hurts. it's never comfortable.
8:03 pm
>> another change sharply reduces early voting days which are more popular with minorities than with whites. >> just look at the rules and play by the rules. >> and still another forces some people who moved to vote provisional ballots which more often affect minorities and students. >> one of the things that i think was really going wrong is the opportunity for local elections to be displaced or stolen by just people coming in and moving their address. >> all of this in the name of preventing voter fraud. >> every single time this fraud is allowed to occur in florida, your right to vote and my right to vote is degraded. >> bill 1355 is going to create an undue hardship on minority voters in the state of florida in addition to the elderly, the poor and rural voters who will also be disadvantaged by it. >> if we have a razor thin election in florida and florida votes are decisive for the
8:04 pm
electoral college outcome then the changes in the rules could determine who the next president is. >> on representative baxley's motion. members will proceed to vote. >> 77 yeas, 38 nays, mr. speaker. >> so the bill passes.. >> you are subject to the 2011 version of the law that went into effect may 19th, 2011. i have not done one in this new process, but i have to start sometime. december the 2nd, i'm going to see what i can find. how's everybody? don't stop because you see me coming. i don't think i met you. are you a registered voter? when did you register? >> lavon is a foot soldier.
8:05 pm
>> where did you move from? >> mississippi. >> oh, yes, you have to be able to vote here. >> she's been a foot soldier for a long time. and she does what needs to be done. >> fill this out. i have been working for 35, 40 years as it relates to voter registration, getting people excited about voting and as time passes, it is more and more difficult. i think i have two right now. i'm going to do five. this is where i turn in all my registrations. do i need to put my number on the absentee ballot? >> no, just on the application. >> okay. >> i know that i have to be very careful in what i'm doing. >> turn it in within the 48 hours from the date -- the day you have their registration, 48 hours. >> so every time i do one -- >> uh-huh. >> -- i need to then put my number on it and put the time. mistakes are costly now. >> have to put it on each one.
8:06 pm
>> i've been doing it for 20 years and now they're just making it difficult. >> bracy who works solo isn't backing down from the threat of penalties. >> thank you. >> but others, even florida's nonpartisan league of women voters stopped registering voters in the state. >> five years in jail, $5,000 in fine, third-degree felonies, it is going to be almost impossible to find volunteers who would be willing to do that. >> the league of women voters and other groups provide an outreach to these populations. african-americans are going to have a more difficult time registering to vote because they won't have as many opportunities to do so. >> so black folks have had to deal with barrier after barrier for years. there were poll taxes before. there were literacy tests before. now you have to deal with the newest form and that is fines when it comes to registering people. >> you know i'm married to a poor preacher. i cannot afford to go to jail and neither can i afford to pay a fine. yes, ma'am.
8:07 pm
♪ this is a sunday morning. we're about to have worship service. >> my wife who's been a champion for voter empowerment for a long time. in the 2008 election, she single handedly registered more nthan 1,200 people. [ applause ] >> meet my bride of 38 years. >> good afternoon. >> good afternoon. >> what, tallahassee, your legislature, wants you to do is not vote in 2012. and they don't want people like me to inform you of the changes that have been made. i remember my dad said, listen, you must vote. so if you haven't voted put your hand up with everybody else's hand and let's assume you just changing your address but we need you to fill out a voter registration form.
8:08 pm
from 18 to 63, i have never missed an opportunity to vote. if you don't vote, you will not have a voice. there are people who died for you to have the right to vote. >> we will register to vote because the citizens of these united states we have the right to do it. >> for the cries of pain and the hymns in protest of oppressed people, systematic and ingenuous discrimination. >> the outrage of selma still fresh enacted one of the most monumental laws in the entire history of american freedom. to ensure the right to vote. >> signature and today's date. i'm ready for the challenge. i'm just not going to let tallahassee win this. >> and you're starting now.
8:09 pm
>> i'm starting now. >> 30. we already have a tv. would you like to know more about it? yeah, but let me put my wife on speaker. hi! hi. it's led and it has great picture quality. i don't know... it's ultra slim... maybe next year. you could always put it on layaway and pay a little at a time. alright. we'll take it! ah! i love you! hmm! ahem. football. [ male announcer ] shop now. get the hottest brands on your list today... like the lg 55 inch led tv. and put it on layaway now so you have more time to pay. walmart.
8:10 pm
but lately she's been coming in with less gray than usual. what's she up to? [ female announcer ] root touch-up by nice'n easy has the most shade choices, designed to match even salon color in just 10 minutes. with root touch-up, all they see is you.
8:11 pm
how often do you do this a day? >> i try to get out once a day. sir, are you a registered voter? >> hello. >> i'm not a registered voter. >> oh, you're not. >> lavon's pursuit of registered vote series about to take her to gainesville, florida. it is the place where bracy's sense of her own destiny and purpose was forged in the battle for her civil rights. >> these benches were not here, and it's a bit different now than it was when i was here in
8:12 pm
1964. >> these were days when there was stark segregation, jim crow. >> i said to myself, something got to be done. >> we needed to integrate the public school system. >> i'm reading from the united states district court. they are official papers that brought about integration of the school system of florida. >> my dad probably knocked on 500 doors of parents trying to persuade them to allow their kids to go to the all-white school. >> and the parent says, too dangerous. and something said to me, you have got two children in the school system. use one of your own children. >> i decided to go to the all-white school.
8:13 pm
>> the fbi came to the house. they said, this is the most dangerous thing that you could do. are you exactly sure that you want to do this? i say, yes. >> when i first came in the class, i sat in that seat. everybody in the entire class got up went to the other side of the room and the teacher asked why are you standing? and one of the students says, i i would rather stand than to sit by a -- >> there wasn't a day i didn't get spit on. there wasn't a day i didn't get cursed. this particular day i went up to this young man to tell him a message from my father.
8:14 pm
he said, i don't know you and he threw me down and all of the other five boys proceeded to really whip me. they beat me. i mean, they kicked me. they did all sorts of things. and when the bell rang, there was not one person that stopped. everybody saw me on the ground. and they just left me there. >> when lavon told me that she was beaten, i said, good gracious alive. i said, lavon, you want to stop? >> i have stitches in my head from here all the way in the back from where i was beaten and cut. and i told dad, i said, dad, i
8:15 pm
can't go back. i think i stayed home about a week and then i got up and i told dad to take me back to school. i said, you know what, they're just going to have to kill me because i cannot let them win. >> that's what i'm talking about her steely resolve. she made the decision that she was going back and it was a horrible year, but she finished as the first african-american to graduate from that school in gainesville, florida. >> well, this is the yearbook, huh? i don't even think i got one. in fact, i didn't want one. i really didn't want one because i didn't know any of the students. i didn't want any memory of any of these folk who were so nasty to me. and parents did not want this
8:16 pm
black spot in their book, so they lightened my color so it would blend in and i wouldn't look like i was an african-american. i think the tenacity that i have is driven by the abuse that i had to take in order to make a difference. >> thank you. >> if there's someone out there that wants to vote and needs to be registered, this is the last thing she does she's going to try to get that person registered. >> are you registered voters? >> 48 years later even on this day, lavon bracy does not waver from the task at hand. >> i've been voting since i was 18 years old. and the only way you can have a voice is through your vote. >> yes, ma'am. >> vote every time there is an election. you got some great answers. >> just come on the campus and i see all these kids, a lot has
8:17 pm
happened since 1965. >> together, unite. >> 150 miles away in the state capital -- >> off we go. hold that. hold that. >> democrats begin a furious assault on florida's new election law. >> now you know that this is harmful. >> dennis baxley who crafted the law says his opponents are welcome to take on the law in federal court. ♪ ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] at&t. the nation's largest 4g network. now covering 3000 more 4g cities and towns than verizon. at&t. rethink possible. till you finish your vegetables.
8:18 pm
[ clock ticking ] [ male announcer ] there's a better way... v8 v-fusion. vegetable nutrition they need, fruit taste they love. could've had a v8. or...try kids boxes! c'mon, michael! get in the game! [ male announcer ] don't have the hops for hoops with your buddies? lost your appetite for romance? and your mood is on its way down. you might not just be getting older. you might have a treatable condition called low testosterone or low t. millions of men, forty-five or older, may have low t. so talk to your doctor about low t. hey, michael! [ male announcer ] and step out of the shadows. hi! how are you? [ male announcer ] learn more at [ laughs ] hey!
8:19 pm
we don't let frequent heartburn come between us and what we love. so if you're one of them people who gets heartburn and then treats day after day... block the acid with prilosec otc and don't get heartburn in the first place! [ male announcer ] one pill each morning. 24 hours. zero heartburn.
8:20 pm
8:21 pm
everybody is a registered voter? just checking to see if you're all registered voters. >> yes, ma'am. >> u.s. citizen? >> yes. >> this is one. i got one. >> in a little more than a month lavon bracy has already registered more than 100 voters. >> go find me another one. >> voter suppression has got to go! >> at a democratic rally in tampa, she runs into an old friend. >> how are you? >> yes, i know the person. >> an important ally who can take the fight to two additional fronts, the statehouse and the courthouse. >> my name is geraldine thompson. i'm a member of the florida house of representatives. i remember voting for the very first time in 1968. >> oh, i'm just determined that, you know -- >> not going to let -- >> no. >> welcome to -- >> together, thompson and bracy
8:22 pm
join forces with the nonpartisan league of women voters. the league has stopped registering voters in florida and filed a lawsuit to throw out baxley's restrictions on voter registration. >> this lawsuit today is our way of saying and telling the legislators in florida that these kinds of laws and this law in particular shall not stand. >> if the laws are so draconian that the league of women voters cannot feel comfortable in a nonpartisan basis registering democrats, republicans, anyone to vote, then that's gone too far. >> i'm embarrassed that it's in the state of florida. >> while everyone waits for the courts to rule on florida's new election law, thompson and fellow democrats are hoping to overturn it in the legislature. but the clock is ticking. the session ends in just 60 days. >> today is a big day. >> first day of the 2012 session. >> we the people! >> we have some demonstrators here this morning.
8:23 pm
this is a battleground. >> you guys need to be as loud as you can so we can hear you through those door. >> we will have an address from the governor. >> today governor rick scott delivers his annual state of the state address. >> it's an honor to be with every one of you here today, and it's a real special honor for me to be your governor. >> he didn't say anything at all about voting, nothing at all. >> do you think there's a plan? do you think it goes to the governor's office? >> definitely in florida. definitely. >> rick scott? >> rick scott, definitely. >> you think he intentionally is doing this? >> yes, i think that rick scott is part of the plan. the method has changed, but the objective is the same. >> voting rights are human rights. >> voting rights are human rights! >> by the start of the year, the
8:24 pm
naacp and others take the fight against new election laws national. >> it's a shame that we're in this situation in 2011 that we even have to march for this. >> we come to this department of justice to seek justice. >> in washington protesters demand that the justice department enforce the 1965 voting rights act and throw out florida's election law. while florida's law may be the toughest, 18 other states, most under republican control, also tightened election laws since the 2010 election. kansas is one of the many states that now requires picture i.d.s, which they say will prevent voter fraud. >> the argument that you should always, always push to the most easy imaginable system that you can think of, well, then you're going to open up the doors wide to fraud. we do want it to be easy to vote. but we want it to be hard to cheat, too. >> okay, thanks.
8:25 pm
>> kris kobach is kansas secretary of state and rejects the charge that tighter election laws like requiring photo i.d.s are politically or racially motivated. >> i think it's a despicable argument to make. the number one factor driving people to the polls is the candidates and the excitement of that contest. it's not the mechanics of the election. >> democrats use the issue in a political way as well. they use it for fund-raising. they claim voter suppression on a broader scale than i think it actually exists and is a way to gain additional turnout and fire up the base. >> they say you're overexaggerating it. >> no. >> you're making it up. >> we're not making it up. it's real. >> making it bigger than it is. >> it is -- >> to raise money for democratic causes. >> that's not true. and i register democrats and republicans. i want them all to vote. >> this is the kind of issue that gets everybody fired up, right? >> yes. >> they send money as soon as they hear about it because they
8:26 pm
think the right to vote is being taken away, right? >> yes. >> why wouldn't you all push this thing a little bit harder than it's worth just to get people racing to the polls? >> because it has a chilling effect. when some people read about what's going on, some people will throw up their hands and say, i told you so. and so i'm not going to -- i'm not going to bother. >> florida is one of the key states. if you can shave off 50,000 to 100,000 people who could have voted in '08 and who won't be able to vote in 2012, you could literally win an entire state, and that could be the difference between who wins in november and who loses. >> i am requesting that the elections bill that i've filed be heard in this committee. >> back in tallahassee, thompson and fellow democrats are rallying behind mark pafrd's 1189, a new election bill that would make it easier for people like lavon bracy to register voters.
8:27 pm
>> i'm dropping this off with the chair. it's my elections bill that i'm hoping he'll put on the agenda. >> at this time, we'll take up house bill 629. >> house bill 629 is -- >> next we have representative haral with -- >> house bill 811 creates a public -- >> outmanned and outgunned, the democrats' alternative voter bill, hb-1189, isn't even introduced. >> when i go to the capitol and somebody asks what do i do, i don't say i'm a legislator. i say i'm a funeral director. i serve families. >> when he's not at the capitol, dennis baxley is at home in ocala, florida. running the family's funeral business. he is the son of a preacher and a fifth generation floridian. >> you learn to do a lot of things in a suit when you're a funeral director, mow the yard, wash the toilet, sit with families. guide the funeral coach. death is no respecter of person or station in life.
8:28 pm
and i think learning to serve through funeral service just kind of opened the door for me to serve in public policy. it's time to go to the floor at 9:00. >> back in the state capitol, baxley is busy at work in committee and on the house floor. what he is not doing is talking about the law he crafted, at least not until the courts weigh in on florida's election law. >> i'm willing to be quiet and let the judiciary do its piece. i'll respect them, and i expect them to respect me. >> in just four days, voters go to the polls to vote in the florida primary. it is the first major test of dennis baxley's hb-1355. transitions® lenses automatically filter just the right amount of light. so you see everything the way it's meant to be seen. maybe even a little better. vsp members can save on all authentic transitions lenses,
8:29 pm
including our new transitions vantage and transitions xtractive lenses. experience life well lit. ask which transitions adaptive lens is best for you. thank you, mr. speaker, uh, members of congress. in celebration of over 75 years of our government employees insurance company, or most of you know it. ...i propose savings for everyone! i'm talking hundreds here... and furthermore.. newcaster: breaking news. the gecko is demanding free pudding. and political parties that are actual parties! with cake! and presents! ah, that was good. too bad nobody could hear me. geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance. trying to find a better job can be frustrating. so at university of phoenix we're working with a growing list of almost two thousand corporate partners - companies like microsoft, american red cross and adobe - to create options for you. not only that,
8:30 pm
we're using what we learn from these partners to shape our curriculum. so that when you find the job you want you'll be a perfect fit. let's get to work. on gasoline. i am probably going to the gas station about once a month. last time i was at a gas station was about...i would say... two months ago. i very rarely put gas in my chevy volt. i go to the gas station such a small amount that i forget how to put gas in my car. [ male announcer ] and it's not just these owners giving the volt high praise. volt received the j.d. power and associates appeal award two years in a row. ♪
8:31 pm
8:32 pm
do you want your country back? i want mine back. don't have election if they don't come, right? >> for dennis baxley, the gop primary marks the maiden voyage of the election law he crafted. >> of course, election is all about turnout. so for the primary on tuesday we're working right now to get around saturday morning. this is the grassroots. precinct walking. we are going right on the street. you know what the number is? i'll just go house to house. good morning. i'm dennis baxley. can i give you a little brochure from mr. romney? they feel very distant from the political machinery until it comes by their house. have a good saturday! it lets them know, this is your government. this is america. you get to choose. are you ready to go vote? >> i guess. >> okay. let's get her done. >> on this saturday the father
8:33 pm
of five heads out to the polls with his 25-year-old adopted son. >> afternoon. we brought some absentee ballots. they go right in this slot. i got involved with foster care. jeffrey was 8 months old. he was a shaken baby. he's blind and has brain damage. >> thank you. >> this is the supervisor elections office in marion county, florida. and this is the last early voting day. >> it was baxley who agreed to change the last day of early voting from sunday to saturday. >> what the data from 2008 shows quite clearly is that african-americans preferred to vote on the sundays and did so in proportions much greater than their overall numbers. ♪ hey hey hey >> on the sunday prior to election day, after church services, people got on buses and they rode to the supervisor of elections office and they voted. >> we may take 200 or 300 people to vote.
8:34 pm
>> take your souls to the polls. >> no longer is that day available. >> how does eliminating that day affect voter fraud? >> we tried to get dennis baxley to say why, but he's still not talking about his voting bill. >> the legislature has acted. there is redress in the courts. during that time i think it's my role to be quiet. >> so we head north to gainesville. >> presidential preference primary day. >> and find plenty of republicans happy to defend dennis baxley and the voting law he crafted. >> turnout does matter, and that's really our job as a county party, is to leave as few republican votes on the table as possible. my name is stafford jones. i am chairman of the alachua county republican party. first year i voted would probably have been 1986. so many people are early voting
8:35 pm
there wasn't enough time to get the paperwork done so that's why they pushed it back a day to give the supervisors more time. if you don't have it done, somebody intentionally or mistakenly could come in and vote a second time, and you'd never know. we have a poll watcher there? spring hill baptist on waldo road. >> by late morning jones is being told of a problem at a nearby polling place. >> when polling opened they were still updating their books from early voters, and we'd like to find out why. did you have an issue this morning where the books weren't updated? >> when i first showed up they were still in the process of updating. >> so why are they still doing it? >> at this polling location the elimination of sunday early voting does not achieve its stated goal -- avoid potential voter fraud by giving poll workers more time to update the books. stafford jones helped give dennis baxley inspiration for another part of florida's voting
8:36 pm
law. he claimed people moved to gainesville to vote for a gay mayoral candidate and then moved back out of the city right after voting. >> they don't really understand the politics of this community. they don't have a stake in it. >> baxley's remedy was to force registered voters to vote a provisional ballot if they tried to vote in a different county. democrats say this mostly affects their supporters who were more likely to be renters and move a lot like blacks and students. >> we want everybody to vote once, and you get a provisional ballot. you get a provisional ballot. >> wow, it's interesting hearing the supervisors of elections talk about this and estimating what kind of impact this is going to have. >> younger voters overwhelmingly are negatively impacted by the move-in requirement that they do a provisional ballot. african-americans were twice as likely than anglos to be caught in this scenario. >> the real dirty secret in
8:37 pm
florida is that provisional ballots don't count. over 50% of those cast in 2008 were never tabulated towards the final vote tally. we can all remember those images of looking up at the hanging chads. they are the ones who are charged with seeing whether or not the signature matches on the provisional ballot. there's a lot of discretion that goes into this. >> dennis baxley's response? ♪ we're marching ♪ we're marching >> in a bizarre twist, the national outcry over the death of a 17-year-old african-american leads him to speak out on florida's "stand your ground" law. baxley also was that bill's chief sponsor. >> just kind of spoke to my heart and said, you're also going to have to tell the rest of the story on the election law. >> and so one full year after its passage, dennis baxley prepares to break his silence on hb-1355. >> thank you. i'm a conservative investor. i invest in what i know.
8:38 pm
i turned 65 last week. i'm getting married. planning a life. there are risks, sure. but, there's no reward without it. i want to be prepared for the long haul. i see a world bursting with opportunities. india, china, brazil, ishares, small-caps, large-caps, ishares. industrials. low cost. every dollar counts. ishares. income. dividends. bonds. i like bonds. ishares. commodities. diversification. choices. my own ideas. ishares. i want to use the same stuff the big guys use. ishares. 8 out of 10 large, professional investors choose ishares for their etfs. introducing the ishares core, etfs for the heart of your portfolio. tax efficient and low cost building blocks to help you keep more of what you earn. call your advisor. visit ishares. ishares. yeah, ishares. call 1-800-ishares for a prospectus which includes investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. read and consider it carefully before investing.
8:39 pm
but with advair, i'm breathing better. so now i can be in the scene. advair is clinically proven to help significantly improve lung function. unlike most copd medications, advair contains both an anti-inflammatory and a long-acting bronchodilator working together to help improve your lung function all day. advair won't replace fast-acting inhalers for sudden symptoms and should not be used more than twice a day. people with copd taking advair may have a higher chance of pneumonia.
8:40 pm
advair may increase your risk of osteoporosis and some eye problems. tell your doctor if you have a heart condition or high blood pressure before taking advair. if you're still having difficulty breathing, ask your doctor if including advair could help improve your lung function. get your first full prescription free and save on refills at who emailed it to emily, who sent it to cindy, who wondered why her soup wasn't quite the same. the recipe's not the recipe... ohhh. [ female announcer ] ...without swanson. the broth cooks trust most when making soup. mmmm! [ female announcer ] the secret is swanson.
8:41 pm
we don't let frequent heartburn come between us and what we love. so if you're one of them people who gets heartburn and then treats day after day... block the acid with prilosec otc and don't get heartburn in the first place! [ male announcer ] one pill each morning. 24 hours. zero heartburn. good morning. how we doing? >> back home in ocala -- >> so you're in full campaign mode? >> well, that's part of it. >> -- dennis baxley is fed up with all the criticism of his "stand your ground" and election laws, and he's ready to talk. >> i would ask baxley to be truthful and tell the whole nation why this law was passed and why was it authored by him.
8:42 pm
>> are you trying to suppress the african-american vote? >> absolutely not. >> are you trying to suppress the latino vote? >> absolutely not. >> are you trying to slow them down or reduce the number of people going to the polls? >> no, they're americans. they have a right to vote. they can go down there and register just like anybody else. and actually i think it's very racist to say certain people don't know how to work the system and have to be treated differently somehow. why? >> why take away that last sunday? >> why? it's a scheduling issue. you could still vote on sunday. it's just a different sunday. knock yourself out. load a bus. go vote the sunday before. >> but that sunday was the big sunday where so many people went straight from church to the polls. >> well, i felt like we had too narrow of a window. there was only 24 hours to change over from early voting format to the general election format. >> the league of women voters is widely considered to be nonpartisan, how could you
8:43 pm
possibly get them mad at you? >> well, i don't think it's really accurate. >> so that they pull out. >> they say they're nonpartisan and i guess technically they are. but if you look at everything they're pretty much aligned with the democratic national committee on everything they do. >> so what is your motive? >> my motive is to protect the election process from mishap and mischief. >> what's the evidence of mishap and mischief? where is the fraud? >> it can happen at any place along the way. >> where has it happened? >> we do know it happens. >> do you? >> of course, we do. >> the florida secretary of state has referred just 64 cases of possible voter fraud to state prosecutors. that's out of 11.7 million registered voters and over a five-year period. >> we all know that a lot of fraudulent events that occur just don't rise to significance to state attorneys to prosecute. >> yes, it's true there is some voter fraud in this country, but i would say in the last 30 to 40
8:44 pm
years the amount of fraud that takes place at all has gone way down and there is no credible evidence of any kind of systematic problem with impersonation voter fraud. it's not a serious problem. >> can you spell a.c.o.r.n.? look at the abuses across the country that went on and we know that that's probably only the surface. >> the now defunct a.c.o.r.n. registered more than a million voters nationwide in 2008. a handful of its workers submitted phony applications some because they didn't want to do the actual work. but the nonpartisan congressional research service did not identify any reported instances of individuals who were improperly registered by a.c.o.r.n. attempting to vote at the polls. >> a quote i saw from you, to secure safe elections sometimes do we have to lose a few voters in the process? the inference is here you're saying, yes, you think it's okay to lose a few voters in the
8:45 pm
process to secure safe elections? >> i think as long as you're making it accessible to everyone. >> you're taking away inclusiveness. >> i'm saying that if some people somehow don't show the initiative to complete that opportunity, then that may be a risk factor in having a secure system. >> as the fall elections approach, dramatic new evidence appears lending support to the claim that tough voter laws were put in place to try to suppress turnout. now it's not just democrats drawing attention to the issue. this time it's republicans. in the critical swing state of pennsylvania where the republican-led legislature passed a tough new photo i.d. law, the gop's house majority leader boasts about the law's effect. >> voter i.d. which is going to allow governor romney to win the state of pennsylvania, done. >> the sunshine state -- >> in florida jim greer, the former head of the state
8:46 pm
republican party, takes dead aim at dennis baxley's claim of voter fraud. >> it's a made-up issue. it's made up by the republican-led legislature. governor scott in florida with its sole intent to keep minority voters from having the opportunity to vote because the republican party is scared to death that they're going to experience another election like 2008. >> greer says he chaired several meetings in 2009 at party headquarters in tallahassee with gop pollsters, lobbyists and a party official who reported directly to dennis baxley's boss, house speaker dean cannon. let me get this right. you had a meeting on how to suppress minority voters? >> there was one gentleman in our meeting who used the term that if you continue down this path, they're going to come out from under every rock and we have to stop that. >> were they just sort of
8:47 pm
nodding in agreement or were they actively sort of embracing something? >> no. they were actively embracing it. they're talking about either taking it to the leadership or they've already taken it to the leadership. >> well, how are they going to market it? what's going to be the message? >> voter fraud. >> that was it? >> that was it. voter fraud. >> jim greer, you know him. >> i do. >> all right. this is your former republican state chairman who says there was never any voter fraud. what's your response to that? >> i'm not real interested in a lot anything that jim greer has to say right now. >> he was your state chairman. >> and he was removed for his credibility issues. >> jim greer is under indictment on charges of stealing money from the state party, which he denies, and he's suing the party for back-pay. >> mr. greer is an angry, offended man who's lashing out at anybody and everybody he can
8:48 pm
right now. >> is it revenge? >> no, it's not revenge. >> is it retaliation? >> it's not retaliation. it's trying to make the republican party a better party, and the republican party is trying to tinker with and change the voting laws so that they can keep winning elections at all costs. >> the picture he paints is, after 2008 there was real concern, almost an obsession with the number of people who turned out to vote for the democrats and a conclusion that something had to be done. >> i don't share his analysis of that. >> you disagree? >> i disagree. >> did anybody come up to you and say, we need to suppress the minority vote? anybody in the legislature. >> i never heard anybody express that. ever. >> we need to get control of these minorities because they're going to overrun us in the next election. >> i never heard anyone express that. i don't see how anybody could look at the access and the availability that we have for
8:49 pm
people to participate and call it suppression. i really don't. >> as the fight over the republican voter bill continues, time is running out on the democrats in the florida legislature. >> first name? >> lavon bracy continues her one-woman crusade. and everyone waits on what the courts will say. with the spark cash card from capital one,
8:50 pm
sven's home security gets the most rewards of any small business credit card! how does this thing work? oh, i like it! [ garth ] sven's small business earns 2% cash back on every purchase, every day! woo-hoo!!! so that's ten security gators, right? put them on my spark card! why settle for less? testing hot tar... great businesses deserve the most rewards! [ male announcer ] the spark business card from capital one. choose unlimited rewards with 2% cash back or double miles on every purchase, every day! what's in your wallet? here's your invoice.
8:51 pm
how did i get here? dumb luck? or good decisions? ones i've made. ones we've all made. about marriage. children. money. about tomorrow. here's to good decisions. who matters most to you says the most about you. massmutual is owned by our policyholders so they matter most to us. massmutual. we'll help you get there. flip your look from day, soft, to bright with covergirl blast flipstick. wearable, blendable double end-able! it's two lipsticks in one.
8:52 pm
easy, breezy, beautiful blast flipstick from covergirl.
8:53 pm
we're just thankful to god for this time together. mommy, you did a great job and we bless you for that. and the lord is in agreement. >> for lavon bracy, the long wait is nearly over. in washington a federal court and the justice department are still weighing a decision on florida's early voting cuts, including souls to the polls. in tallahassee another federal court is ready to rule on
8:54 pm
florida's restrictions on voter registration. >> at the state capitol -- >> today is the end of the session. >> -- dennis baxley is upbeat. >> just five minutes ago i got a phone call that my number eight grandchild is on the way. >> but what about the democrats' alternative voter bill? >> we're hours away from the 60-day session ending and there's no hope that that bill -- you know, it's dead. >> near the stroke of midnight, a symbolic end to the 2012 session. and to legislative voting reform in florida. >> i'd like to thank every member of the house and the senate -- >> as governor scott congratulates legislators, behind the scenes he's about to drop a bombshell. >> in may scott alleges that as
8:55 pm
many as 2,600 noncitizens could be registered voters. they must prove their citizenship or be kicked off the voter rolls or even arrested. >> the danger of doing a voter purge to remove potential noncitizens right before the election is that you're going to end up capturing in your net many people who are valid legitimate voters. >> to me it's like an insult. >> bill is on the purge list. born in brooklyn, the veteran of world war ii earned the bronze star at the battle of the bulge. >> florida's process for deleting people from its registration list has been so careless it is replete with errors. almost all the people on the state's list of suspected noncitizens are actually american citizens. >> scott responds by reducing the purge list to just 198 people. that's 0.0000169% of the state's registered voters.
8:56 pm
then finally on may 31st -- >> great job. >> -- the court rules on voter registration. >> hear, hear! >> the tallahassee judge throws out florida's 48-hour rule. voter groups and people like lavon bracy no longer must turn in registration forms within 48 hours or face fines. >> we're now able to get back to work. >> the league of women voters quickly announces it is back in business. >> we're looking for lavon. >> oh, here you are. >> geraldine thompson is about to give lavon bracy the good news. >> what i wanted to tell you that judge hinkle in tallahassee just struck down the 48-hour requirement. >> oh, no! >> yes, yes, yes, yes. >> wonderful! oh, that is great news. >> i look at this 80-section piece of legislation and see these as minor adjustments. i don't think it'll make a big difference whether it's two days
8:57 pm
or ten days. >> this is a bad law. it is part of a wave of laws that passed across the country, and i think this is the first and biggest federal court decision, you know, saying in no uncertain terms no to the state. >> over the next few months, judges also say no at least for the 2012 election to tougher election laws in texas, ohio, south carolina, wisconsin and pennsylvania. but in florida the democrats' euphoria over their voter registration victory is short-lived. the university of florida's dan smith finds that right after the league of women voters and others suspended their efforts, voter registrations dropped significantly in the state, especially among democrats. then in september in that other court case, federal judges and the justice department approve florida's early voting cuts including the traditional sunday souls to the polls. they also approve the requirement that some people who
8:58 pm
move must cast a provisional ballot. >> things have gotten tougher and to the extent that's what the republican legislature wanted. then that's at least a partial win for them. >> everybody ready? i'm going to pray, okay? father, god, we thank -- >> i hope if anything comes out of this election law, it's a new respect for what a wonderful thing we have in america. that's real. it hurts me to see people take this country for granted. good to see you. this year is going to be very exciting. it's a very important year, crossroads of directions for the country, and i think florida will play a big part of it. lights out. this might be a good shot. until next time.
8:59 pm
tonight, billionaire's row, what if you get three of the most successful people in the country to tackle the biggest problems, these are the men who did the most impossible. mark cuban, billionaire owner of the dallas mavs. >> i have to always be competing, i have to always win. >> the king of las vegas, steve wynn. >> the thing that will make people go


1 Favorite

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on