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PolitiFact Florida checks former Gov. Charlie Crist's claim that former Gov. Jeb Bush extended early voting

2:07 PM, Nov 22, 2012   |    comments
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St. Petersburg, Fla. (WTSP) - As we just saw in the presidential election, voting problems are pretty prominent here in Florida.

Many people, including former Governor Charlie Crist, say extending early voting is the answer. He says he and Jeb Bush got it right and has been a huge critic of Governor Scott's decision not to extend early voting before the presidential election.

We team up with PolitiFact Florida to check that claim.

Gov. Crist recently turned independent and joined Florida Democrats in asking Governor Rick Scott to give voters more time at the polls by extending early voting.

"Governor Crist in 2008 extended early voting. He asked Rick Scott to do the same, and Gov Scott of course, didn't," says Aaron Sharockman with PolitiFact Florida. "Charlie Crist was trying to make the point this isn't a Republican or Democrat issue and was saying, 'I extended early voting hours in 2008 and actually Gov Jeb Bush extended hours when he was governor.'"

The claim that former Florida Governor Jeb Bush extended early voting caught the ears of fact-checkers at PolitiFact Florida. Sharockman says it's an exaggeration and Bush actually extended hours of voting and gave some flexibility in two specific cases.

"One was a primary in Miami. Polling places had problems with opening on time and malfunctions, so the governor issued an executive order that kept polling places open an additional two hours."

The other was in 2004 when Hurricane Charley hit in Charlotte County. Bush again extended hours and gave flexibility so everyone had the opportunity to vote.

"He had other things in place. Jeb Bush actually passed the early voting law, Jeb Bush was behind the impetus to have early voting. But to say that Bush extended early voting hours defies the facts in this case," says Sharockman.

PolitiFact Florida rates this claim, MOSTLY FALSE.


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