Florida Republican Party strategists met and discussed ways to suppress the black and Latino vote in the state, according to former state party Chairman Jim Greer. He said that there’s “no doubt” that Florida's GOP lawmakers were working to “make sure that the Republican Party has an advantage in this upcoming election by reducing early voting, putting roadblocks up for potential voters.”
Greer's claims first came to light in a deposition released in July after he sued the party for monetary funds he said he was promised before his resignation in 2010. He reiterated them in a live interview on Thursday night with the Rev. Al Sharpton that aired on MSNBC. According to Politic365, this is the first time he had made his assertions about the party of blocking voters on national television.
Florida, along with several other states, had been under fire after enacting restrictive voter-identification laws passed with the stated goal of combatting voter fraud. Many critics say that the voter ID laws would overwhelmingly disenfranchise young, elderly, and minority voters.
In addition to its voter ID laws, Florida also faced criticism when Gov. Rick Scott led an effort to purge the state's voter rolls and weed out possible non-citizens who were on the list. That led to a lengthy back-and-forth between the state and the Justice Department, ending in one lawsuit by the state against the Homeland Security Department for allegedly denying it access to federal data and a lawsuit by Justice against the state under the National Voter Registration Act.
Greer’s comments, however, don’t necessarily come with the most pristine intentions: In 2010, he was arrested on charges that included grand theft and money laundering amid accusations that he pocketed $125,000 in party funds.
State Sen. John Thrasher told The Tampa Bay Times in July that Greer’s claims were “baseless accusations on other people in an effort to divert attention from himself.”