Charlie Crist on Government Reform
Nobody's perfect. Everyone makes mistakes. People deserve a second chance. Isn't that the very basis of our democracy and religious faith?
I quickly came to see that restoring the rights of ex-felons would be controversial. All my Republican friends seemed to be certain about what was waiting for us down this path: If we invited thousands of ex-felons back onto Florida's voting rolls, the vast majority wouldn't be voting for us.
"Just look at 'em," I heard more than one Republican say. "Those are Democrats." The laws that kept most ex- felons from voting in Florida went back 136 years. That was the Jim Crow era after the Civil War. Slavery was over. But white judges and politicians in the South were doing everything they could to make sure the newly freed slaves were still kept down.
At my urging and without much fuss, the legislature passed a bill requiring paper backup for all voting machines. The fact that the federal government would cover the $28 million price tag didn't hurt.
"It just makes common sense," I said that day. "You go to an ATM machine, you get a receipt. You go to a gas station, you probably don't like the receipt you get, but you get a receipt. And with the most precious, cherished right we have in a democracy, we deserve to have a record so we can verify."
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Retiring in 2014 election:
Retired as of Jan. 2013:
Senate races Nov. 2016:
AK: Murkowski(R) vs.Metcalfe(D) vs.Stevens(L) vs.
AL: Shelby(R) vs.Crumpton(D) vs.
AR: Boozman(R) vs.Eldridge(D) vs.Gilbert(L) vs.
AZ: McCain(R) vs.Ward(R) vs.Kirkpatrick(D) vs.Mealer(I)
CA: Sanchez(D) vs.Harris(D) vs.
CO: Bennet(D) vs.Glenn(R) vs.
CT: Blumenthal(D) vs.Carter(R) vs.
FL: Rubio(R) vs.Murphy(D) vs.Grayson(D) vs.Keith(D) vs.
GA: Isakson(R) vs.Barksdale(D) vs.Buckley(L) vs.
HI: Schatz(D) vs.Carroll(R) vs.
IA: Grassley(R) vs.Judge(D) vs.
ID: Crapo(R) vs.Sturgill(D) vs.Pro-Life(C) vs.
IL: Kirk(R) vs.Duckworth(D) vs.
IN: Bayh(D) vs.Young(R) vs.
KY: Paul(R) vs.Gray(D) vs.
LA: Fleming(R) vs.Kennedy(D) vs.Campbell(D) vs.Boustany(R) vs.Maness(R) vs.Cao(R)
MD: Van Hollen(D) vs.Szeliga(R) vs.Flowers(G) vs.
MO: Blunt(R) vs.Kander(D)
NC: Burr(R) vs.Ross(D) vs.Brannon(R) vs.Haugh(L) vs.
ND: Hoeven(R) vs.Glassheim(D) vs.Marquette(L)
NH: Ayotte(R) vs.Hassan(D) vs.Rubens(R)
NV: Cortez-Masto(D) vs.Heck(R) vs.
NY: Schumer(D) vs.Long(R)
OH: Portman(R) vs.Strickland(D) vs.
OK: Lankford(R) vs.Workman(D) vs.
OR: Wyden(D) vs.Callahan(R) vs.
PA: Toomey(R) vs.McGinty(D) vs.
SC: Scott(R) vs.Dixon(D)
SD: Thune(R) vs.Williams(D)
UT: Lee(R) vs.Snow(D) vs.
VT: Leahy(D) vs.Milne(R)
WA: Murray(D) vs.Vance(R)
WI: Johnson(R) vs.Feingold(D) vs.
Senate Votes (analysis)