TAMPA – As the vote comes to a close Sunday, November 11th, about 12,000 UPS drivers were notified that they would still be going to work for the freight giant on Monday after a labor contract vote was called in favor to avoid a strike and maybe saving Christmas. 77% of workers voted to approve the 5-year contract concerning issues like adjusting the subcontracting allotment, wage & benefit demands of the Teamsters union.
At the same time in Florida just about 12,000 votes is making the difference between Senate candidate and incumbent Bill Nelson (D) and current Governor of Florida Rick Scott (R). The controversy surrounding the Palm Beach and Broward counties’ recounts is rooted in history while simultaneously making its own. The entire nation, and likely the world, has now set a microscope on the Atlantic beaches of the sunshine state.
Broward Recounts and Florida
Famous cities like West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, and Pompano Beach line the eastern coast of Florida and carry approximately two million voters between both counties and have a reputation for questionable practices, particularly so in Broward under the leadership of Professor and Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes. Professor Snipes was the leadership elected in 2003 after the contentious 2000 election recount of now Fmr. President George W. Bush and Democratic nominee Al Gore. Just a year later, Snipes admitted to losing 58,000 absentee ballots, and in 2016 illegally destroyed 6,000 ballots opposing a court preservation order. As the 2018 midterm elections continue to close Snipes and Broward Co are again in the spotlight.
Snipes’ accused offenses include sending a sample ballot that did not reflect the real ballot, admittedly breaking Florida laws enacted after the 2000 snafu and missing mandated deadlines, mixing illegal ballots with legal ones, and again defying court orders when refusing to surrender the ballots demanded from a court upheld suit from the Scott campaign. FL Department of Law Enforcement and state elections commissioners went to Broward to observe but concluded not to investigate. The AG was not satisfied with that response and announced as much in an open letter.
FDLE’s duty to investigation this matter is clear, and I am directing the department to take the necessary steps to promote public safety and to assure that our state will guarantee integrity in our elections process: https://t.co/Xqe4tUmqLF pic.twitter.com/eAnF4Oz3Wx
— Fla. AG Pam Bondi (@AGPamBondi) November 11, 2018
Professor Snipes is elected locally in Florida. It’s difficult to say why the populations of those counties continue to re-elect leadership who has been found to be all but verbally incompetent when counting ballots in the prescribed way.
Where The Elections Stand
Both the Senatorship, Governorship and Comm. of Agriculture are on the line and all will go through to machine-recounts. The Senatorial election has narrowed to 0.15%, 12,562 votes in favor of Gov. Rick Scott (R), the Governor’s race squeezes to 0.41%, 33,684 votes of Congressman DeSantis (R), and the Commissioner of Agriculture race is twice as tight as the senatorship at 0.06%, 5,326 votes in favor of attorney Nicole “Nikki” Fried (D). If these machine recounts go or stay below 0.25% margins it will enter a hand recount starting on Sunday.
Commissioner of Agriculture Race
These machine recounts are due by 3:00PM EST on Thursday November 15th, 2018. Already there are some reports of missing that deadline. Broward is 1 of 67 counties but it holds approximately 7% of the total voting population in Florida. This has caused some Republicans to question the integrity of the election results. Senator-Elect Scott expressed his dubiousness in a series of TV interviews throughout last week and the weekend.
As Thursday fast approaches and investigations loom over Broward county and Professor Snipes one thing is clear. The citizens of Florida are once again questioning the legitimacy of their vote and it will be a test come January 1st to see what actions the newly elected leaders of the state will take (or not take) to prevent this type of mess in the future.