Due to a combination of racism, Andrew Gillum’s alleged involvement in an FBI investigation, the obvious suppression of 1.4 million formerly incarcerated people’s votes, and a few other factors, Florida’s major statewide races this year were remarkably close. The U.S. Senate race between Bill Nelson and Rick Scott is almost certainly headed to a manual recount.
And now, two days after the election, the race between Gillum and Governor-Elect Ron DeSantis will almost certainly go to a recount as well. Under state law, elections must be machine-recounted if a candidate wins by less than 0.5 percent of the total vote. Just before 2:15 p.m., the state elections website updated to show that DeSantis led Gillum only 4,069,451 votes to 4,030,936. That’s less than 0.5 percent.
As New Times noted yesterday, the person in charge of handling such a recount is none other than Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner, a Scott appointee who has been repeatedly accused of hatching schemes to prevent young people, Democrats, and people of color from voting. Detzner today told employees in his office to prepare for a series of recounts and stated his office was “under a microscope” right now.
Floridians have until 5 p.m. today to make sure any “provisional vote” they might have signed (due to mismatching signatures or IDs) is counted. In the meantime, a few remaining county elections supervisors are feverishly reviewing any vote-by-mail ballots they have not yet counted.
The perpetually mismanaged elections office in Broward County, led by embattled Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes, is in the hot seat once again: Snipes, who was found to have violated federal law in 2016 by deleting ballots that were the subject of a lawsuit, now says she has no clue how many ballots might be left to count in Broward County. Folks who lived through the 2000 election are going into dissociative fugue states.
In the meantime, Democratic Agricultural Commissioner candidate Nikki Fried has pulled ahead of seeming winner Matt Caldwell by just 582 votes. That race will also go to a recount.