The Latest: Palm Beach may not meet Florida recount deadline
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — The Latest on Florida’s election recount (all times local):
It’s unclear whether one of Florida’s largest counties will make a looming recount deadline after their machines malfunctioned.
Tallying machines in Palm Beach County overheated and caused mismatched results with the recount of 174,000 early voting ballots. The machine recount is supposed to be finished by Thursday.
Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher said that the machines are “old” and were not designed to work around the clock. Bucher compared it to trying to drive an old car from Florida to Los Angeles.
The county was already behind because it can’t recount multiple races simultaneously. The staff worked overnight to recount early votes again.
Florida is doing a recount in three state races, including a tight battle for U.S. Senate.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott will step down from the state panel responsible for certifying the results in the state’s highly contested elections.
Daniel Nordby, a lawyer for the Republican governor, told a federal judge Wednesday that Scott will recuse himself from the state’s canvassing commission. The commission is a three-member panel that officially signs off on election results in state and federal races.
Scott is locked in a tight Senate race against U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson that is the subject of an ongoing recount.
The League of Women Voters of Florida and another group have filed a lawsuit seeking to remove Scott from any official control over the election. Scott appoints the state’s chief election official responsible for ordering recounts. Ballots, however, are counted by local election officials.
Rick Scott is Florida’s Republican governor, not a senator-elect.
Yet there he was at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s left shoulder Wednesday when the Kentucky Republican welcomed GOP senators who will take their seats in January when the new Congress is sworn in.
Scott holds the narrowest of leads over Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, and a recount is ongoing.
During a brief photo op in McConnell’s Capitol office, Scott did not reply to a question about whether he contends there was fraud in the election.
President Donald Trump and Scott have accused elections supervisors in two Florida Democratic counties of fraud without offering evidence. State law enforcement and elections officials have said no fraud complaints have been filed.
The Palm Beach County elections supervisor says aging equipment has overheated, causing mismatched results in the recount of ballots in Florida’s U.S. Senate race.
Susan Bucher said Tuesday night that the 11-year-old machines began having problems on Monday as early voting ballots were being counted. When the numbers were crunched on Tuesday, they didn’t match.
WPTV says a mechanic was flown in to fix the issues, but Bucher says “we don’t have a lot of assurances.”
She says the machines “started overheating so as a result the tally types are not reconciling properly.” That means about 174,000 early voting ballots in the state’s third most populous county will have to be recounted.
Workers are working around the clock to count the vote, but Bucher has already said they will not meet the state’s Thursday deadline to report the recounted votes. Nearly 600,000 ballots were cast in the county.
Florida’s ongoing recount battle will head back to a courtroom on Wednesday as lawyers for Democrats ask a federal judge to set aside the state law that mandates that a vote be thrown out if signatures on mail ballot envelopes don’t match the signature on file with election authorities.
This is the latest skirmish in Florida’s legally mandated vote recount that has drawn national attention, including that of President Donald Trump.
Trump on Tuesday called on Democrat Bill Nelson to admit that he lost to Republican Gov. Rick Scott in the state’s high-profile U.S. Senate race and again implying without evidence that officials in two pivotal South Florida counties are trying to steal the election.