Republican senatorial candidate Rick Scott still maintains his lead over Democrat incumbent Senator Bill Nelson, but the election drama in Florida is heading into its next chapter after a machine recount effort failed. Three counties missed the Thursday afternoon deadline to submit their results of a machine recount.
Hillsborough, Broward, and Palm Beach counties are holding the entire election in limbo after two flat-out missed the recount deadline and Broward County submitted their results two minutes late. The timing certainly seems suspicious as Broward election officials commented that they finished tallying the votes earlier in the day.
From BizPac Review:
Citing broken down machines, Palm Beach County didn’t make much effort to get to the finish line, while Broward raced to the deadline and actually finished the recount before 3 p.m.
But in a display of incompetence so egregious it’s hard to believe it wasn’t planned, Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes supiciously turned the new figures in two minutes after the deadline, Judicial Watch reported:
A Judicial Watch investigative team is on the ground monitoring the debacle in south Florida and attorneys were present in Broward until the recount was completed just minutes before the clock ran out. However, the county uploaded the results two minutes too late which means the state will likely stick to the original tallies submitted on Saturday.
So why did Broward miss the deadline after having the results in their hands and ready to report? One can only guess it had something to do with the fact that Scott would have gained more than 700 votes.
Had Broward officials submitted the results just two minutes earlier, the Republican candidate would have furthered his lead. But, since the results came in late, election officials will use the previously recorded information.
Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican running for U.S. Senate against incumbent Democrat Sen. Bill Nelson, gained an additional 779 votes in the recount.
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Scott saw an initial lead of around 60,000 votes on election night dwindle all the way down to just over 12,000, thanks in large part to Broward and Palm Beach submitting votes after the polls closed.
And with the potential to add to that lead, Snipes sent the numbers late and Florida law stipulates that when the deadline is missed the last unofficial count is then used — meaning the tardiness cost Scott 779 votes.
As the Daily Caller reports, U.S. District Judge Mark Walker said: “We have been the laughingstock of the world, election after election, and we chose not to fix this.”
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton expressed his frustration with the recount process and called echoed the line, saying: “On a day when a federal judge said Florida is the ‘laughingstock of the world election after election,’ all but three of the state’s 67 counties met the recount deadline. Hillsborough and Palm Beach counties failed to complete machine recounts of their midterm election ballots by the 3 p.m. Thursday deadline and Broward missed it by just two minutes.”
So—what happens now? Florida will initiate its first statewide hand recounts ever, the Miami Herald reports.
And, via the Associated Press:
Election offices across Florida will have to hand count at a bare minimum almost 54,000 ballots in the U.S. Senate race.
A survey of 64 of Florida’s 67 counties by The Associated Press put the number of overvotes and undervotes Thursday evening at 53,769 ballots in the U.S. Senate race between incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson and GOP Gov. Rick Scott.
The remaining counties have until Sunday to finish submitting their hand recount data, CBS News reports.
As the senatorial race will continue on, the race for the state’s governorship seems to be over.
Through the recount effort, Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis held a 0.41 percent lead which is enough to avoid another recount. From BizPac Review:
As a result of the machine recount, Republican Ron DeSantis still holds a 33,683 vote lead over Democratic candidate and media darling Andrew Gillum, who gained just a single vote in the recount.
With a margin of 0.41 percent, the difference is high enough under state law to avoid a mandatory manual recount, which effectively ends the race — USA Today called it for DeSantis.
Gillum, who has not filed any legal action yet and has no other play, refused to throw the towel in.
“I remain humbled by your support and the great honor the people of Florida have shown me as I prepare to serve as your next governor,” DeSantis said in a statement after the result signaled his lead, via the Miami Herald.