Declaring a state of emergency in Florida because of long voting lines, Gov. Charlie Crist on Tuesday extended early voting hours across the state to 12 hours a day.
The executive order comes after record early voting turnout has contributed to long lines at polling sites.
Current Florida law allows for early voting to be conducted eight hours a day each weekday and for a total of eight hours during the weekends. With Crist's order, early voting sites will be open the rest of this week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. They will be open a total of 12 hours on Saturday and Sunday, the last day of early voting.
''It's not a political decision,'' Crist said moments after signing the order. ``It's a people decision.''
Crist said he made the decision after seeing numerous news reports about long lines and after he had a conversation with state House Democratic leader Dan Gelber of Miami Beach. Crist's appointed secretary of state, Kurt Browning, had rejected the idea of extending the early voting hours earlier this week.
Speculation is that Charlie Crist is putting it to McCain because after he got married to prove his I'm-not-gay conservative cred, McCain still picked Palin instead of Crist.
Regardless of why, it's refreshing to see a Republican come out in favor of voting instead of vote suppression. Especially in Florida.