3000 Votes 'Disappear' From Florida Recount Tally

Elections officials with observers watching over their shoulders do a hand recount of questionable mail-in ballots Friday. [Bob Self/Florida Times-Union via AP]/The Florida Times-Union via AP)

The New York Times is reporting that a discrepancy of 3000 ballots exists between the number of votes originally reported and the tally after the Florida recount was finished on Friday.


Does it surprise anyone that the counties with the largest discrepancies are Democratic counties?

The discrepancy in votes is especially pronounced in Broward and Palm Beach counties. Here are some highlights from the Times’ report:

None of the discrepancies would be enough to affect the outcome of the three statewide and three local elections that are still waiting for a winner to be called. But they come as at least three Florida counties — two of them Democratic strongholds whose results could be decisive — have reported problems counting their shares of the more than 8.1 million ballots cast across the state.

In one of the most serious cases, Palm Beach County found “dozens of precincts missing a significant number” of votes during the machine recount, according to the supervisor of elections, Susan Bucher, causing the county to conclude that entire boxes of ballots may not have been counted.

Wow. Just wow.

How’s this for absolute stupidity?

Ms. Bucher blamed an overheated and outdated ballot-scanning machine. But the manufacturer of the high-speed scanner used in Palm Beach said its technicians had witnessed Palm Beach County elections workers, apparently worried that one of the machines was running too fast, jam a paper clip into the scanner’s “enter” button in an effort to slow it down. That, in turn, caused a short circuit that cut off the power, a company spokeswoman said.


Bucher should pitch a sitcom to network execs. They wouldn’t even need a laugh track.

The difference in Broward County was 0.29 percent — higher than the margin between the candidates in both the Senate and agriculture commissioner’s races.

“This is a big deal,” said E. John Sebes, founder of Open Source Election Technology, a nonprofit group in San Francisco that promotes accuracy and security in the vote-counting process. “If you have an election margin of 0.21 percent and a variance of 0.12 percent, the variance of your machine count is half the margin you are trying to correct. That’s kooky.”

Well, “kooky” is one way to describe it. It gets better:

It wasn’t only missing votes that raised questions about Florida’s election results. The vote count in heavily Democratic Broward County increased by about 80,000 in the four days after the election, possibly because of mail-in, provisional, overseas and military ballots that come in late and were legally counted after Election Day.

Yes, I suppose it’s “possible” that the increase of 80,000 bloomin’ votes was due to ballots counted after Election Day. Then again, it’s possible aliens did it. The question should be, what’s the more likely explanation? Incompetence? Fraud?


But no other counties showed were identified publicly with such a high number of additional ballots registered after the election, and Broward County’s election supervisor, Brenda C. Snipes, offered few explanations.

Despite all, it appears that Rick Scott will win a Senate seat and Ron DeSantis will be the next Florida governor. But it will be no thanks to election officials in Democratic counties whose gross incompetence and possibly criminal actions should cost the lot of them their jobs.



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