OnTheIssuesLogo

Charlie Crist on Government Reform

Republican

 


Give former felons a second chance at voting rights

"It all comes down to one fundamental question," I said. "Do you believe that an individual has paid their debt to society? If they've really paid their debt, then why not restore their right to vote?"

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.

Source: The Party's Over, by Charlie Crist, p. 95 , Feb 4, 2014

Require paper backup for all electronic voting machines

As a first step, it seemed to me, we should dump the leap-of-faith touch-screen machines for some technology that kept a careful paper record.

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."

Source: The Party's Over, by Charlie Crist, p. 93 , Feb 4, 2014

Supports term limits & instant contribution reporting

Q: Which principles do you support regarding campaign finance reform?

A: Term Limits and enforce Existing Laws & instant contribution reporting.

Source: Congressional 1998 National Political Awareness Test , Nov 1, 1998

Statehood for the District of Columbia.

Crist co-sponsored H.R.317

Congressional Summary: Sets forth procedures for admission into the United States of the state of New Columbia.

Opponents reasons for voting NAY: (DCist.com, Sept. 2014): The Argument Against: Congress does not have the authority to grant statehood to D.C.; the 23rd amendment, which gave D.C. three electoral votes, would have to be repealed before statehood was granted. Washington is a wholly urban, one-industry town, dependent on the federal government far in excess of any other state. Moreover, with Congress no longer having authority over New Columbia but dependent on it, New Columbia could exert influence on the federal government far in excess of any other state.

Supporters reasons for voting YEA: [Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-DC; the District of Columbia has one representative to Congress and no Senators; Rep. Holmes can introduce bills but her vote does not count]: This 51st state would have no jurisdiction over the federal territory or enclave that now consists of the Washington that Members of Congress and visitors associate with the capital of our country. Those would remain under federal jurisdiction. The New Columbia Admission Act was the first bill I introduced in 1991. Statehood is the only alternative for the citizens of the District of Columbia. To be content with less than statehood is to concede the equality of citizenship that is the birthright of our residents as citizens of the United States.

Source: New Columbia Admission Act 15_H317 on Jan 13, 2015

Automatic voter registration for all citizens.

Crist co-sponsored H.R.12 & S.1088

Congressional Summary:

Supporters reasons for voting YEA: (BrennanCenter.org): Too many Americans go to vote on Election Day only to find their names are not on the voter rolls--often, wrongly deleted. The US is on the verge of a new paradigm for registering voters: automatic, permanent registration of eligible voters, which would add up to 50 million eligible voters to the rolls.

Opponents reasons for voting NAY: (Gov. Christie's veto message on the "Democracy Act", Nov. 2015): Christie called a provision establishing automatic voter registration that requires New Jerseyan to opt out a "government-knows-best, backwards approach that would inconvenience citizens and waste government resources for no justifiable reason." Automatic voter registration would have added 1.6 million people to the state's voter rolls.

Source: Voter Empowerment Act 15-H12 on Mar 19, 2015

Holiday on election day; revamp for easier voting access.

Crist voted YEA For the People Act of 2019