Just when you thought it could not get worse in Broward, they discover cartons of new scandals.
Look, I get it.
I live here. I see it firsthand. When news breaks that normally has most others looking to toss their television over the balcony we simply shrug and grapple with the latest bat-crap crazy occurrence. We have learned to deal with the insanity, otherwise you let it consume you and win.
So in the flurry to get the state-mandated machine recounts finished by today’s hard deadline the Broward County Office of Elections had staff working overnight and throughout the day to make it to today’s 3:00 deadline. Reports came in that Broward County had completed the recount well before the cutoff. It was a rare dose of skillfulness from Supervisor Of Elections, Brenda Snipes.
Completing the recount on time was a rare bit of positive news concerning Snipes. The Broward County SOE has been a controversial figure for years. She has compiled a lengthy list of incompetence and illegal actions as acting Supervisor. Even in this election there have been reports of her mixing invalid ballots with the recount, boxes marked PROVISIONAL BALLOTS were discovered abandoned at one polling station, and numerous other missteps have made the news.
Two main, and surprising, discoveries were made when today’s recount totals came in. First, in the three races being recalculated, as mandated by state law — US Senate, Florida Gubernatorial, and Florida Agriculture Commissioner — the totals came in nearly 2,000 votes fewer than the previous tally. Secondly, there was a significant gulf between the candidates. The drop in figures for each race is here:
Rick Scott: -606 votes
Bill Nelson: -1,385 votes
Ron DeSantis: -621 votes
Andrew Gillum: -1,373 votes
Florida AG Commissioner
Matt Caldwell: -616 votes
Nikki Fried: -1,381 votes
The governor’s race would see little change, as DeSantis held a cushion of approximately 0.5%. For the US Senate Rick Scott leads currently by nearly 12,500 votes. The AGC race is of particular note, however, as the candidates are separated by only a few thousand votes, much of which are being contested.
But then something happened. Given that the three races were seeing net gains for the GOP candidates an announcement was made that suddenly the recount totals were not being recognized by Tallahassee. The reports were that the submission was not made in time and, as required by state election law, the prior totals would stand as official.
So how did this happen? Well, despite news reports that Broward Elections had finished well ahead of the deadline, the announcement came down that Broward had submitted their totals to Tallahassee too late — TWO MINUTES after the 3:00 pm deadline.
The claim was being made that workers had difficulty navigating the submission process. “Basically, I just worked my ass off for nothing,” said Broward elections official Joseph D’Alessandro. “We uploaded to the state two minutes late so the state has chosen not to use our machine recount results.”
D’Alessandro blamed his late submission on his unfamiliarity with the state’s submission website.
So just as the State — and to a greater extent, the nation — breathed a sigh of surprised relief that a protracted nightmare may have been averted, Brenda Snipes and her Broward County cohorts managed to snatch failure from the jaws of competency.
As usual, we will be told this is all just random human error that could not be avoided. And while the nation laughs, justifiably, a Democratic Supervisor is permitted to get away with even more failures and foibles. After all, when her malfeasance benefits her party what motivation is there to change anything?