Just when you thought maybe the circus in Broward County was winding down and there might finally be an end ot all the drama, turns out Broward has one more stunning example of incompetence to offer.
When Broward finished its machine recount, they were late by two minutes, thus causing those results to have to be tossed, and the original number replacing it.
The machine recount number showed Republican Rick Scott actually gaining votes. But those extra votes weren’t counted.
No worries, one might say, that count should just be confirmed in the hand recount they are now doing, right?
Well, maybe. Or maybe not, given what they just did in the hand recount.
Ironically, Broward was just celebrating yesterday saying that they had completed their hand recount in record time, especially given that they had been late on the machine recount.
So they had moved on to recount the race for the Florida Commissoner of Agriculture.
While counting that, lo and behold, they discovered envelopes of ballots from the Senate race that were mixed in with the agriculture race.
From Fox News:
That came to a grinding halt when lawyers found thousands of overlapping ballots which clearly showed a vote in the agriculture race but were fuzzy in the Senate race.
“It appears there may have been some ballots from yesterday mixed in with the ones for today,” Broward Canvassing Board Judge Deborah Carpenter-Toye told reporters.
Forty-seven manila envelopes from the Senate recount were mixed in with the envelopes distributed for the commissioner race.
Broward County Canvassing Board Attorney Rene Harrod told Fox News the issue was caught in time and that none of the 47 envelopes made it to the canvassing board. It’s an important catch because it rules out the possibility of some votes being counted twice.
Wait, what? Are they kidding?
The Republican lawyer objected but the canvassing board said they would continue and just flag any more questions.
There were three counties who missed the machine deadline – Broward, Hillsborough and Palm Beach.
Hillsborough County intentionally refused to report its figures, which would have awarded Scott approximately 150 votes, because the recount turned up 846 fewer votes in total than the county’s initial tally.
“Even though we achieved 99.84 percent success in our recount effort, we are not willing to accept that votes go unreported,” Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Craig Latimer told reporters. “For that reason, the Canvassing Board has decided that the first unofficial results will stand as our second unofficial.”
In Palm Beach, election supervisor Susan Bucher said the county found “dozens of precincts missing a significant number” of votes during the machine recount and indicated there may be entire boxes of ballots that weren’t counted, according to the New York Times.
She also blamed the county’s issues mechanical errors and said the scanning machine overheated.
She flew in two mechanics to fix the problem. The technicians, though, witnessed Palm Beach County workers jam a paper clip into the scanner’s “enter” button to slow the high-speed scanner down. That action caused a short circuit that cut off the power, according to the New York Times.
This is just incredible. How do you end up like this? Especially after what happened in Florida in 2000?
How can one really be assured that “the count” is actually the right count after stuff like this?