Beaches, gators and recounts: Maybe Florida should consider changing its official motto.
The Sunshine State became the center of attention during the 2000 presidential race when an unprecedented recount put the election results in limbo for over a month.
Now it’s happening again. The White House may not be up for grabs, but officials in Florida have announced statewide ballot recounts for key races, including the seats for governor and senator.
“Unofficial vote totals submitted (Saturday) at noon gave Republican Ron DeSantis a 0.4 percent edge over Democrat Andrew Gillum in the governor’s race, triggering an automatic machine recount under state law,” reported The New York Post.
“Republican Gov. Rick Scott’s advantage over incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson in the fight for a seat in the U.S. Senate was just 0.15 percent — 12,562 votes out of nearly 8.2 million cast,” the newspaper continued.
Voting machines were widely used in Tuesday’s midterm election, which is supposed to increase the accuracy and speed of the tallying process. Instead, those machines are once again becoming a center of controversy.
“If the machine recount yields a margin of victory less than 0.25 percent, state law requires Florida to conduct a hand recount that could take weeks,” explained The Post.
That possibility conjures up 2000-era images of baffled officials staring at paper ballots, trying to read the tea leaves about how a person voted — and it could drag on into late November.
Trying to STEAL two big elections in Florida! We are watching closely!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 10, 2018
While most election officials are likely trying to do their jobs fairly and honestly, the possibility of vote tampering during this crucial time didn’t escape President Donald Trump.
“Trying to STEAL two big elections in Florida! We are watching closely!” the president posted to Twitter on Saturday afternoon.
If the recounts confirm that Republicans Rick Scott and Ron DeSantis have both won, it would be a major blow to the left, but also a warning for conservatives.
On one hand, the Democrat candidates in both Florida races were heavily backed by establishment liberals including Barack Obama. The mainstream media was also largely in their corner, as exemplified by their stories implying that DeSantis was a racist for using a common term.
GOP wins at both the governor and senate level would mean that Barack Obama’s influence has dropped to nil, and that the left has a major messaging problem.
On the other hand, however, the mere fact that both races were so tight should be a wake up call to Republicans. Countless factors are in their favor, yet losing these seats — or even coming close to losing them — means that they need to work harder on packaging conservatism and connecting with voters.
As the proverb attributed to a Chinese curse goes, “may you live in interesting times.” Days after an election with no clear winners, it looks like interesting times are definitely here.
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