Voters this past November endured longer than normal lines at the polls, waiting hours before they were able to cast their vote.
Florida voters in particular faced lines as long as six hours after Republican Gov. Rick Scott signed a law that cut early voting opportunities before the election. An Ohio State University study researched the effects of that law and found the long lines cost Barack Obama a net 11,000 votes in central Florida alone.
The study found that as many as 49,000 voters in central Florida did not get to the polls on Election Day due to the long lines and as many of 30,000 of those voters would have voted for Obama. Though Obama carried Florida, he won the state by a slim margin—only 74,309 votes from the total 8.4 million cast.
According to Think Progress, Florida Republicans have admitted that Scott’s law was designed to keep Democrats from voting. For example, the law cut out early voting on Sunday, which is when black churches organize. Obama overwhelmingly carried African-American voters in 2008.
Wayne Bertsch, an organizer of Republican local and legislative races, said, “In the races I was involved in in 2008, when we started seeing the increase of turnout and the turnout operations that the Democrats were doing in early voting, it certainly sent a chill down our spines.”