It's been more than one week since polls closed on Election Night in Florida, with tight national races and recount efforts again spotlighting the Sunshine State.
In Broward and Palm Beach Counties, there have been a slew of ballot issues. Election officials in both counties have a history of incompetence and corruption.
Broward County Election Supervisor Brenda Snipes was convicted for illegally destroying ballots in 2016 and has a long record of questionable practices.
Broward County Supervisor of Elections, Brenda Snipes, has a long history of fraud.— The Reagan Battalion (@ReaganBattalion) November 9, 2018
Here are just some headlines from the past few years about misconduct, and outright violation of the law by Brenda Snipes and the “most controversial elections department in South Florida”. pic.twitter.com/oczeHiz2d7
Over in Palm Beach, election officials locked reporters out of a public meeting where ballots were being reviewed. Reporters have been covering these types of meetings in an open setting for years.
NBCUniversal, Scripps Media and Fox Television are suing Susan Bucher and the Palm Beach County Canvassing Board for refusing to allow us to record video while they review ballots in a public meeting @nbc6 #EmergencyPetition pic.twitter.com/wPCcNapaTv— Marissa Bagg (@MarissaNBC6) November 9, 2018
#PalmBeachCounty elections supervisor bans media cameras from public ballot counting & threatens them with arrest.— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) November 10, 2018
How much more will it take to convince skeptics that what is happening in Palm Beach & #BrowardCounty is not a normal elections process? https://t.co/NzoNAYCZFN
Now, a new report shows ballots were inappropriately altered and the Florida Democrat Party is the likely culprit. From POLITICO (bolding is mine):
The Florida Department of State last week asked federal prosecutors to investigate dates that were changed on official state election documents, the first voting “irregularities” it has flagged in the wake of the 2018 elections.
The concerns, which the department says can be tied to the Florida Democratic Party, center around date changes on forms used to fix vote-by-mail ballots sent with incorrect or missing information. Known as “cure affidavits,” those documents used to fix mail ballots were due no later than 5 p.m. on Nov. 5 — the day before the election. But affidavits released on Tuesday by the DOS show that documents from four different counties said the ballots could be returned by 5 p.m. on Thursday, which is not accurate.
Audio of a Florida Democratic Party caller leaving a voicemail message asking a Palm Beach County voter to fix their vote by mail ballot after Election Day, which is not allowed, was also sent to POLITICO separately. It was not part of the information turned over to federal prosecutors.
Meanwhile, the recount triggered over the weekend and officially announced by the Secretary of State has been halted. Vote counting machines in Palm Beach County have broken down, again delaying final tallies. The original deadline for the recount is today, November 15. Because of the machine malfunctions, that deadline has been extended to November 20. From CBS Miami:
On Tuesday, Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher said their outdated equipment is slowing them down.
“I don’t think the state of Florida expected that we would have this many recounts but what I think is we have a lot of outdated statutes, a lot of outdated laws that were designed when we had a much lesser population,” said Bucher.
Those comments came hours before the ballot counting machines completely broke down.
Bucher says that they have to re-run all the early voting ballots in the Senate race.
Technicians have been flown to South Florida to fix the machines, but it’s not clear yet when they will be back up and running.
Florida Governor Rick Scott is proceeding as the U.S. Senator-elect and was in Washington D.C. this week for orientation. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell welcomed him to the Capitol on Wednesday.
A warm welcome to the incoming class of Republican Senators. pic.twitter.com/yNcqWvX0qp— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) November 14, 2018
Scott's opponent, Democrat Senator Bill Nelson, is vowing to fight on. In the governor's race, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum rescinded his concession to Republican Governor-elect Ron DeSantis last weekend.