Rubio Blasts Demings for Asserting He Supports Voter Suppression: ‘It’s Never Been Easier to Vote’

Election 2022 Senate Florida
Thomas Cordy/The Palm Beach Post via AP, Pool

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) blasted his Democrat challenger Rep. Val Demings (D-FL) during Tuesday’s debate after she asserted that he is among Republicans attempting to suppress votes in United States elections.

“I’m not the person standing on the stage who supports suppressing the right to vote,” she said, implying that Rubio does.

“The senator thinks that we should leave that up to the states. We’ve tried that with voting rights, and we know the bad actors who did some ungodly things to stop people from voting. So we should not just protect the right for a few people or the privileged few. We should protect voting rights for everyone,” she said, failing to explain how Rubio supports suppressing certain groups.

“And we need a federal law to keep everybody accountable. The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act is sitting in the Senate right now,” she said, identifying it as “our duty and responsibility to allow the people to vote.”

U.S. Rep. Val Demings (D-FL) participates in a televised debate with U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) at Duncan Theater on the campus of Palm Beach State College in Palm Beach County, Fla., on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2022. (Thomas Cordy/The Palm Beach Post via AP, Pool)

One of the panelists then asked Rubio to explain his position on Democrats’ “imaginary fears” when it comes to voting rights.

“It’s never been easier to vote,” Rubio explained. “In Florida, you can now vote by mail for any reason. You can vote, for example, ten days before the election. You can vote on Election Day. In Georgia, which they claim to be the place that was suppressing all the votes, you had record African American voter turnout.”

He then pointed to the absurdity of Democrats comparing basic election integrity laws, such as requiring voter ID, to the Jim Crow era “where people were literally murdered, where people were forced to … pay poll taxes and [take] literacy tests.”

“What are we talking about here?” he said, reminding Demings that he is also a minority. 

I’ve never felt like producing an ID disadvantages my ability to vote. Everyone has an ID. You can’t even check into a hotel. You can’t buy Sudafed at Walgreens without an ID. That’s number one. Number two is, you can’t collect a bunch of ballots. Harvesting of ballots, cars showing up with tons of ballots sitting in the trunk of a car, things like that that they want to force down the throat of every state in the country. We don’t need that federal law imposed on every state,” he added, taking a dig at Demings for accusing him of suppressing the vote. 

[If] I’m trying to suppress the vote, I’m wasting a lot of money telling people to go out and vote,” he added. 

During the era of segregation in the United States, voting rights were denied to African Americans in the form of discriminatory taxation. Having to pay $1.50 – the equivalent of a day’s wages – made voting beyond the reach of the poor. Set fields including Age, State, Citizen, Sex, and Race. This receipt, issued in 1955, provides that the voter has paid the $1.50 poll tax in Hardin County, Texas. In 1966, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Harper v. Virginia Board of Electors that poll taxes for any level of election were unconstitutional. (Photo by Heritage Art/Heritage Images via Getty Images)


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.