A frequent complaint from reasonable Americanos is that political races and the annoying campaigns that accompany them last waaaay too long. Sometimes it seems they’re a permanent feature of our public landscape. Now it has become reasonable to object that election vote counting is too lengthy and tortuous as well. Take what’s happening in Florida. Please.
The Middle Ages eventually ended. So do the NBA playoffs. Heck, even Fidel Castro’s speeches came to their exhausting ends. But will the Florida elections? Who will be first in with their results and conclusions? Florida or the Mueller investigation? We’ve entered the lawsuit phase — at last count 10 had been filed — in the governor and Senate races here. Will we ever emerge from it?
Just as Floridians began to think they would at least know who their governor-elect would be after this Thursday’s deadline for the machine recount in that race, a Tallahassee circuit judge, one Karen Gievers, has dashed these hopes. In response to a lawsuit filed by a Democrat, she has decided a deadline isn’t really a deadline. More of a suggestion line, I guess.
Her Honor has allowed Palm Beach County to have five more days to get its recount results in because Palm Beach Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher says she can’t produce those results by this Thursday. Heartwarming. Sort of reminds one of that kindly professor back in college who you could usually talk into giving you a few more days to get your term paper in. No word yet on whether Florida’s Republican Secretary of State, Ken Detzner, will appeal the ruling. In the case of the U.S. Senate race, there’s the question of if state courts even have jurisdiction in an election for federal office. And even in the state race, how is it a judge can change a deadline that’s in a statute at her whim?
Incumbent Democrat U.S. Senator Bill Nelson obviously loves the post-Election-Day blue wave of yet to be counted votes in Florida Democrat strongholds. And why shouldn’t he? At end of business election night he trailed Republican challenger Rick Scott (Florida’s current governor) by more than 57,000 votes. After several days of post-election vote counting in Broward and Palm Beach counties, his deficit is down to a more manageable 12,500 votes. He likes Judge Gievers’s ruling so much he filed a suit asking that Florida’s other 65 counties be also given five more days. Blue waves take a bit of time to fully lap over a state as big as Florida. (As happened even in land-locked Arizona.)
Nelson has also filed other suits asking that mail-in ballots arriving late be counted and that questionable provisional ballots, including those rejected because the signature on the ballot does not match the signature on record at the elections office, also be counted. He helpfully explained that people don’t always sign their name the same way. Who knew? These questions will be dealt with in court Wednesday. It’s probably too much to hope that they will be given the horse laugh they so richly deserve.
“Whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican, we should all be able to agree that the goal is to have a complete and accurate count of all lawful ballots and to ensure that count is done accurately,” Nelson lead attorney Mark Elias told reporters. One can be forgiven for suspecting that Nelson & Associates would not be all that heartbroken if a few illegal votes got swept into the mix as well (see above re people don’t always sign their name the same way). Elias, with a long history as the Democrats’ Mr. Fixit, set the tone for his approach earlier when he said Nelson is pursuing a recount, “not just because it automatic, but we’re doing it to win.” Is there anyone who has led a sheltered enough life to believe this guy just wants all the votes to be fairly counted?
A similar post-Tuesday blue wave has taken place in the governor’s race. As a result, DeSantis’ election night advantage of more than 77,000 votes shrunk over last weekend to a lead of less than 34,000. This is a large number of votes to overcome, even with the well-documented irregularities, shenanigans, screw-ups, pratfalls, general Keystone-counters comedy, and perhaps a bit of slight-of-hand (Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi is looking into this last possibility) that has taken place in Broward County, and to a lesser extent in Palm Beach.
Back to the Senate race for a final thought. When/if we get a result on the machine count in this one, the lead will doubtless be within the quarter of one-percent margin that triggers a required hand count. God only knows how long Democrat lawyers can string this one out. Perhaps all Bill Nelson will want for Christmas is for another trunk-load of uncounted votes to be found in Fort Lauderdale. We might even make it into the New Year when Nelson’s term will have expired and no one is officially elected to replace him. At least Nelson’s absence would mean one less reliable vote for the leftist project. And this wouldn’t be all bad.
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