While the overwhelming majority of races in the midterm elections have already had a winner declared, there are a handful of tight races that remain too close to call, including a Senate race in Arizona and a gubernatorial race in Georgia.
But all eyes are on Florida, where a state-wide recount began Saturday in the Senate and governor’s races. A recount was also ordered for the agricultural commissioner and several other state positions.
Close election results
Both Republican Senate candidate Gov. Rick Scott and gubernatorial candidate Rep. Ron DeSantis held leads Tuesday night, but have seen those leads dramatically diminish in the days since then as two predominately Democrat counties in south Florida — Broward and Palm Beach — continued to produce additional ballots post-election that mostly increased the Democrat candidates’ vote totals.
As the lead for the Republicans in both of those Florida races have dropped to less than 0.5 percent, an automatic recount for each was called, as per state law.
DeSantis’ Democratic opponent, Tallahassee mayor Andrew Gillum, withdrew his Tuesday concession on Saturday. “I am replacing my words of concession with an uncompromised and unapologetic call that we count every single vote. And I say this recognizing that my fate in this may or may not change,” Gillum told the press.
Suspicions of vote fraud
As the days passed and still Broward County could not provide a final vote tally, Republicans keyed in on Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes — who has a shady history from past elections — and accused her of attempting to “steal” electoral victories from Scott and DeSantis by manufacturing fraudulent absentee, early-vote and provisional ballots.
“On election night, Broward County said there were 634,000 votes cast. At 1 a.m. today, there were 695,700 ballots cast on election day. At 2:30 p.m. today, the number was up to 707,223 ballots cast on Election Day. And we just learned that the number has increased to 712,840 ballots cast on Election Day. In Palm Beach County, there are 15,000 new votes found since election night,” Scott pointed out.
Meanwhile, Democrats insisted that everything was on the up-and-up. They said that election officials merely needed additional time to count each and every ballot that was submitted.
Trump-hating Bush Republican weighs in
That liberal narrative received a big assist from a former Republican strategist for President George W. Bush in the 2000 and 2004 campaigns, Matthew Dowd — now a political analyst for ABC News and vehement NeverTrump “conservative” — who called the 2000 election (which he helped win) a “grave injustice” while demanding officials continue to “count all the votes.”
Dowd tweeted Friday, “I worked on the Bush campaign in 2000 and was chief strategist in 2004. Not counting all the votes in Florida in 2000 was a grave injustice and caused many to question the legitimacy of Bush election. Let us not repeat that injustice in FL and AZ this year. Count all the votes.”
It should be made clear that nobody is suggesting that all ballots shouldn’t be counted. Rather, the complaints are largely focused on a decided lack of transparency in certain Democrat-dominated counties, districts and precincts that have failed to report total numbers of ballots and therefore have created an opportunity for fraudulent votes to be mixed in with legitimate votes.
Everyone agrees that every legitimate vote in an election should be counted, but the process for counting votes and determining the legitimacy of ballots must be open and transparent to ensure fairness, which simply hasn’t been the case in Florida.