The Buzz on Florida politics


Latest Buzz on Florida politics

LAUDERHILL — A Republican party operative from New York who made his name influencing the 2000 presidential recount process is back in South Florida this week on the payroll of the Republican National Committee.

Joseph Brendan Quinn arrived quietly in Fort Lauderdale from New York last Friday and made his way to the Broward Department of Elections in Lauderhill, as three key races went to recounts triggered by razor-thin margins. High-profile Republicans cried foul.

"I have many years of experience with recounts so they asked me to come," Quinn said about his latest contract with the RNC. He expects his contract to continue through the end of a manual recount.

Keep reading   6 min. read  

TALLAHASSEE — U.S. District Judge Mark Walker ruled in two more election-related lawsuits during the night, hours before the start of hand recounts in two statewide races that are too close to call.

Walker denied a Democratic challenge to Florida's voter intent rules governing undervotes and overvotes. He also rejected a request by the League of Women Voters and Common Cause to prevent Gov. Rick Scott from exercising any authority over the recount process.

Walker, recalling Scott's nighttime press conference on the steps of the Governor's Mansion on Nov. 8 where he attacked "unethical liberals" and described "rampant fraud" in Broward and Palm Beach counties, described the governor as "careening perilously close to a due process violation."

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In two of Florida's largest counties — Hillsborough and Broward — the statewide machine recount yielded significantly fewer total votes than the Election Day results.

The outcome so spooked Hillsborough officials that they ultimately decided not to submit the recount totals to the state and instead deferred to the unofficial results reported Saturday. It helped that the percentage of votes won by candidates in the recount were nearly identical to the Saturday results.

Broward, it turned out, was two minutes late getting its recount totals to the Secretary of State, so the Saturday results stand there as well.

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With just 15 minutes to go before Thursday's deadline, Broward County finally finished recounting every vote.

At least, that's what officials told reporters and the canvassing board at 2:45 p.m. In a surprise announcement at nearly 6 p.m., Broward's director of elections planning, Joseph D'Alessandro, told the canvassing board the county actually turned in results to the state two minutes late. They won't count officially.

Florida orders first statewide hand recount

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TALLAHASSEE – Florida's historic statewide election deadlock shifted to the courts on multiple fronts Thursday as Democrats and Sen. Bill Nelson intensified efforts to expand the pool of votes and the amount of time needed to recount them.

Democrats won some legal battles and lost some, but they need to win consistently if Nelson is to close his gap with Republican Gov. Rick Scott in their race for the U.S. Senate. Scott's advantage increased by 41 votes, to 12,603 votes.

Much of the legal combat took place in the expansive fifth-floor courtroom in Tallahassee of U.S. District Judge Mark Walker, a bow-tied, sharp-tongued jurist who's in charge of at least seven election-related lawsuits.

Keep reading   4 min. read  

Even prayers weren't enough for Palm Beach County to make Florida's recount deadline.

After battling with decade-old ballot-counting machines only capable of recounting one race at a time, overheated equipment and ballot count discrepancies, the county failed to meet the 3 p.m. Thursday state deadline for submitting updated vote totals in the races for U.S. Senate, governor and commissioner of agriculture and consumer services. Palm Beach, where nearly 600,000 ballots were cast, appeared to be one of only three counties to miss the deadline.

Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher had warned that elections staff would not be able to meet the deadline to recount votes cast in the governor and agriculture commissioner races and in a Florida House race, but said on Monday that she was confident her staff would complete the recount of votes in the Senate race.

Keep reading   6 min. read  

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