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Tipsheet

Judge To Florida Democrats: No, We're Not Extending This Recount. You Have To Finish It Today

For Florida’s election results, the wait is over, or it will be very soon. A judge has slapped down Democrats’ request to extend the deadline, saying they have to finish the recount by 3 p.m. Thursday. In other words, they should have been done about 25 minutes ago. For provisional ballots, the judge gave these folks until 5 p.m. Saturday to authenticate their votes (via WSJ):

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The Democratic lawsuit asked the judge to allow counties that were having difficulty meeting a Thursday 3 p.m. deadline to be granted more time to complete a machine recount and, if necessary, a manual recount that is due on Sunday.

Election officials in Palm Beach County have said that they will not likely meet today’s 3 p.m. deadline to recount the votes in three statewide races, including the Senate and gubernatorial race, separated by less than one half of one percentage point.

Separately, another federal judge ruled that voters whose mail-in and provisional ballots went uncounted because election officials were unable to verify their signature must be given the chance to prove their vote’s validity.

The order, issued by U.S. District Judge Mark Walker, gives those voters until Saturday at 5 p.m. to show that their ballots were authentic. Judge Walker writes in his ruling that more than 4,000 people in 45 of Florida’s 67 counties couldn’t vote in 2018 because their signatures on their mail-in or provisional ballot didn’t match the signature that county election officials had on file.

The number of ballots in the remaining 22 counties is unknown—as is the direction of the overall recount, which has become mired in counting delays, lawsuits and unsubstantiated accusations of fraud.

Chiefly at stake is the outcome of the U.S. Senate race pitting Republican Gov. Rick Scott, who leads by fewer than 13,000 votes, and Mr. Nelson.

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It’s over. Republican Gov. Rick Scott appears to have emerged victorious over incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson. Scott had to file lawsuits, as the ballot counting operations in two of the most liberal counties in the state, Broward and Palm Beach, weren’t giving regular updates on outstanding ballots, among other things. A judge ruled that these two counties’ ballot counting operations violated public records laws. Even CNN said it would take a miracle for Nelson to survive—and that’s not coming. Host John King said that the only hope for Democrats is for the courts to bend the letter of the law to keep his chances alive. That took a headshot today.

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