The recount in Broward County is going to take a while.
Two days after state officials ordered a statewide recount in three key races that ended within razor-thin margins, Broward County elections officials said Monday they have not yet started their recount of more than 700,000 ballots it must tally before Thursday’s deadline.
Broward Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes said she was not concerned that her office would not meet its deadline, even if the start of the recount is delayed until Tuesday morning.
“No, there is not” any concern, said Snipes, whose headquarters in Lauderhill were once again surrounded Monday by a small crowd of protesters critical of the elections chief and her competence to serve.
Broward will conduct three statewide recounts and additional recounts on four municipal races, all of which are on the first page of Broward’s ballots. The machines have to first separate that page from the rest of each ballot before they can then be refed and recounted. (Ballots in Broward county can range from four to seven pages, depending on the city.)
Elections workers had begun that process on 10 machines late Sunday morning, after technical glitches delayed the start for a few hours. Two new machines were delivered to the supervisor’s office on Monday morning, and workers were still separating ballots as of Monday afternoon. About 10 representatives from both parties are overseeing the recount, along with monitors from the state’s Division of Elections.
Meanwhile, the Republicans are in a huge hurry to get it done, the implication being that if it not done RIGHT NOW they will somehow lose, or it will give fraud a chance.
Despite mounting pressure from top Republicans to investigate unfounded claims of voter fraud in Broward and Palm Beach Counties, the top official for Florida’s Department of Law Enforcement remained mum on whether his agency would start a probe.
A day after Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi publicly rebuked FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen for not investigating claims of voter fraud in the state’s midterm election, the two agencies issued a joint press release assuring the public they were watching for “criminal activity.”
But they stopped short of saying whether they’d found any fraud.
Gov. Rick Scott has repeatedly gone on TV to complain of “rampant fraud” in Tuesday’s election after witnessing his lead in the U.S. Senate race against Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson dwindle as votes continued to be counted after election night.
Like Bondi, he’s offered no evidence of fraud in his call for an investigation. So far, FDLE officials have said they’ve had no evidence to warrant an investigation.
Jim York, who was FDLE commissioner under Gov. Bob Graham in the 1980s, said he was outraged that Scott and Bondi were pressuring Swearingen.
“It’s extraordinary. I don’t know where the attorney general feels she has any jurisdiction here,” York said. “I just appreciate Swearingen, and I hope he continues to stand up to this kind of crap.”
In normal times, it would be the people who are behind in the race who are screaming fraud and carrying on about that kind of crap, but Scott has an apparent lead and it’s very rare for a recount to overturn an election. But Scott and Biondi and the rest of the banshee delegation are taking their cue from Trump, who’s injecting himself and his nutsery into the recount here. Andrew Gillum, the candidate for governor who trails Ron DeSantis by less than 0.5%, dealt with Trump’s frothing with the perfect response.
He should win just on that alone.
Stay tuned, folks. This ain’t over by a long shot.