In the year 2000, a Democratic candidate with the initials "A.G." conceded a close election in Florida only to find that the results were closer than he thought and demanded a recount. Now, 18 years later, a Democratic candidate with the initials "A.G." conceded a close election in Florida only to find that the results were closer than he thought and demanded a recount. Never say history doesn't repeat itself.
As more and more ballots are counted, the gap between Andrew Gillum and Republican Ron DeSantis for governor of Florida becomes closer and closer. The same goes with two other Florida elections: the Senate race between incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson and current governor Rick Scott, and Agricultural Commissioner, between Democrat Nikki Fried and Republican Matt Caldwell. According to the Miami Herald, the most recent numbers are:
Gillum - 4,036,710
DeSantis - 4,072,909
Nelson - 4,079,815
Scott - 4,094,884
Fried - 4,024,770
Caldwell - 4,021,847
Any Florida election under .5% is required to go to a machine recount, as will likely be the case with the governor's race. Anything within .25% goes to a hand recount, as the Senate and agricultural commissioner races likely will. The governor's race will also receive a hand recount if the machine recount also reveals a difference of only .25%.
How Did Florida Get Here - Again?
The center of many of Florida's problems is Broward County, the second-most populous county in the southeastern part of the state and one of the four counties Democrats fought to recount in 2000. Senator Nelson's campaign believes that if all the votes are counted there, he can beat Rick Scott.
Mysteriously, while 695,799 people turned in ballots there, only about 665,000 voted for Senate, less than any other statewide race on the ballot. This means that 30,000 voters in Broward left the Senate race blank on their ballots. No satisfactory answer has been found for this discrepancy, but a popular theory involves a ballot design which, like 2000's infamous butterfly ballot, caused confusion by tucking the Senate race in the bottom left-hand corner:
There are still many absentee and provisional ballots left to be counted in Broward, which Nelson's team believes will make him the winner, as well as ballots from military and overseas voters. How many of these ballots turn into actual votes for Nelson and Gillum will only be determined if they proceed to a hand recount. Palm Beach County has between 1,800 and 2,000 provisional ballots, the largest of the state's counties, and there is a strong likelihood that they will be counted, which could be a boon for the Democrats.
Rick Scott Steps In
Rick Scott, who still has two more months as governor, doesn't want that to happen. Yesterday, he announced that he would sue Broward Supervisor Brenda Snipes and Palm Beach County Supervisor Susan Bucher, claiming he would not "sit idly by while unethical liberals try to steal this election from the great people of Florida."
Other Republicans like Sean Hannity, Marco Rubio, Rudy Giuliani, and president Trump have followed Scott's lead and are accusing the Democrats of election theft. It seems none of them even know that Snipes, who has served as Supervisor for almost 15 years this month, was originally appointed by then-governor Jeb Bush. The hearing for Scott's lawsuit will be held in the Broward Circuit Court today at 3:00 PM.
As of this point, the counties have until tomorrow at 1:00 to turn in their ballots to Secretary of State Ken Detzner, but even that is at play. This morning, Bill Nelson's team announced they would sue the Secretary to extend the deadline. Fried is confident she will remain ahead by this time, and Gillum, who has the largest difference to overcome, is playing his hand close to his chest, presumably waiting for what the machine recount he is legally entitled to offers.
Whatever comes next, one thing remains certain: this continuation of the 2000 election is the worst franchise reboot ever.