Broward County elections officials submitted the results of their days-long machine vote recount two minutes after the 3p.m. Thursday deadline, completely invalidating the new results and returning the official count to where it stood prior to the recount.
“Basically, I just worked my ass off for nothing,” said Joe D’Alessandro, the director of elections for Broward County. D’Alessandro went on to explain that he missed the deadline due to his unfamiliarity with the Florida Department of State website.
“We uploaded to the state two minutes late so the state has chosen not to use our machine recount results,” D’Alessandro said in the unexpected Thursday night announcement. “They are going to use our first unofficial results as our second unofficial results.”
The Florida Senate contest will now proceed to a manual recount.
Florida governor Rick Scott, the Republican Senate candidate who gained more 779 ballots in the now-void machine recount, accused Broward elections officials of intentionally missing the deadline to avoid bolstering his lead over Democratic incumbent senator Bill Nelson.
Broward elections supervisor Brenda Snipes, who has twice previously been found guilty of violating elections law, bragged earlier this week about having complied with all deadlines, despite a number of other errors.
“We are excited to be at this point,” she said Thursday afternoon. Later that evening, Snipes acknowledged that the results had not been finalized when she made that statement.
“An election like the one we just finished almost has so many moving parts and so many components,” Snipes said after it was clear her office missed the deadline. “I’m pleased that we were able to accomplish what we did accomplish in the period of time that was available.”
Two other counties, Palm Beach and Hillsborough, also failed to submit the results of their machine recounts by the deadline.
In the Florida governor’s race, Republican representative Ron DeSantis holds a 33,683 vote lead over Democrat Andrew Gillum, a .41 percent margin that exceeds the .25 percent manual recount threshold.