Former Vice-President Al Gore blasted Tuesday’s long lines at polling places in Florida as vestiges of the racist Jim Crow laws that were used in the wake of the Civil War to prevent African-Americans from voting.
“It is un-American,” Gore said Tuesday while providing election coverage on Current TV. “We’ve all talked about it throughout this election year but now the campaign is over with. This is a disgrace. And we heard Paul Weyrich, years ago, one of the founders of the new ultra right-wing movements saying ‘We don’t want everyone to vote, we want to suppress some of the votes.’”
“It is a strategy, and it is a strategy that is a direct descendant of the racist Jim Crow tactics that were used in the wake of the Civil War to prevent black people from voting, It’s more sophisticated now, it’s dressed up in different types of language – but it is un-American, it is wrong, it is a disgrace to this country, and there ought to be a bipartisan movement to say enough of this. We have the ability to let everyone who is eligible to vote, vote without standing in line for eight hours, without having their names stricken wrongly from the voting rolls and this is something that ought to be a bipartisan agenda after this election.”
Gore, who lost the 2000 presidential election to George W. Bush by 537 votes after a controversial Florida recount that wasn’t decided until 36 days after the election, said he hoped there would be later consequences for the governors and state legislators responsible.
Florida Republicans had enacted a raft of rules restricting early voting and voter registration, and tried to purge thousands of eligible voters from the rolls, but like voter suppression measures in other states, most of them failed or were overturned by the courts.
Gore later tweeted that despite the long lines, “I am confident in saying that President Obama is going to carry the state of Florida tonight.”