It Ain’t Over Till

Florida voting lines

all the votes are counted!

A couple of days ago I put up a post – Florida Election – Red and Blues”

The mid-terms here in Florida the day after the election resulted in razor thin margins for Republican Rick Scott over Bill Nelson in the race for the Senate and for Republican Ron DeSantis over progressive candidate Andrew Gillum.  There was also a razor thin margin for Republican Matt Caldwell over Democrat Nikki Fried for Commissioner of Agriculture – 50.1% to 49.9%.

Florida election  law requires a recount if the margin of “victory” is one half of one percent or less.

The morning after the election Scott’s margin over Nelson was only 0.42% automatically qualifying for a recount.

DeSantis margin was wider at 0.68% but has since closed to within the half percent margin, now 0.47% requiring a recount due to absentee ballots, primarily in Broward and Dade counties, Florida’s most populous and Democratic strongholds.

Additionally, the election of the new Commissioner of Agricultural (formerly held by DeSantis) automatically qualified for a recount.  This recount, already begun, resulting in a change as Nikki Fried is now leading.

The job of Agricultural Commissioner  is of primary importance to environmental groups concerned about the pollution of Lake Okeechobee and the Red Tide menace; the office has been in the hands of the farm and sugar lobbies for decades and little has been done to combat the pollution by run-off of fertilizers into the lake and eventually the Gulf coast.

The election law requires first an automatic machine recount.  If the new totals result in the narrow victory, so be it.  If on the other hand the margin closes to 0.25% or less a hand recount of the paper ballots is required.

Republicans are screaming like mad.

Hey, Dems didn’t write the law.  Jeb Bush did.

The President and Rick Scott are already attacking officials in Broward and Dade for “trying to steal the election.”  We of course have seen all this before.  They would be screaming for a recount if the Dems had eked out so narrow margin of “victory.”

Florida is one of those states which allows mail-in and absentee ballots.  I vote by mail.  I get my ballot early, fill it out and mail it in.  I have no doubt it is counted.  It merely has to be received by 7 P.M on election day.  Thousands are received a couple of days before the election.

Vote by mail ballots are counted for days after the polls close and after the “winner” is declared.

It is a common misconception that absentee ballots are only counted during very tight races.  This misconception stems from two things: one, absentee ballots are often counted for days after the election since many are coming from abroad; two, absentee ballots are often a small percentage of all voted ballots.  Many elections have a clear winner, so the absentee ballots that are still being counted after election night don’t affect the results as predicted right after the polls close.  As absentee voting becomes more popular, however, an increasing number of elections are decided by absentee ballots.

Florida Department of State

So all indications are that the State is preparing for a full re-count of both the Gubernatorial and Senate races.

You all remember the 2000 Presidential election which resulted in George Bush’s “victory” in Florida by 537 votes, giving him the win over Al Gore.  That beauty, in which the recount was halted by Antonim Scalia’s Supreme Court, resulted in our current, much more stringent election law.

I have no problem if the Republicans maintain their victories – but I do want all the votes to be counted.

In this last election, the good people of Florida approved, by a 64% vote, an amendment to our constitution returning the right to vote to felons who have paid their debt.  .Finished their jail sentences, probation or parole in full and without issues.  All felonies except murder and sexual assault crimes are covered.

There are 1.4 million convicted felons in Florida who have paid their dues and had been denied their vote for life.  Next election they will be able to return as full citizens and vote.  Our current criminal justice system has sent hundreds of thousands to jail for non-violent drug offenses.

If you’ve paid you debt in full, you’ve paid your debt infull.

So this election wasn’t all bad.  This was something Republicans and Democrats could agree on – fair is fair.

This ain’t Georgia.


About toritto

I was born during year four of the reign of Emperor Tiberius Claudius on the outskirts of the empire in Brooklyn. I married my high school sweetheart, the girl I took to the prom and we were together for forty years until her passing in 2004. We had four kids together and buried two together. I had a successful career in Corporate America (never got rich but made a living) and traveled the world. I am currently retired in the Tampa Bay metro area and live alone. One of my daughters is close by and one within a morning’s drive. They call their pops everyday. I try to write poetry (not very well), and about family. Occasionally I will try a historical piece relating to politics. :-)
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8 Responses to It Ain’t Over Till

  1. leggypeggy says:

    Please keep us posted.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. beetleypete says:

    If there is a narrow margin victory in a constituency here, the loser has the right to insist on a recount, but that will only go ahead if the presiding official agrees,.In some cases, Court Orders have had to be obtained to force recounts.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    • toritto says:

      Im sure its like that in a lot of states here Pete. Florida passed the automatic recount law after the fiasco of the 2000 Presidential election. It was passed by the Republicans so I can’t understand why they’re bitchin now!


      Besties from F

      Liked by 1 person

  3. GP Cox says:

    Why is it every year Florida has to be the laughing stock of the country because of the elections. What’s so hard, 1-2-3-4-, I can teach them how to count if need be.

    Liked by 1 person

    • toritto says:

      Hi GP – Seems to be the issue is the counting of mail in and absentee ballots in a timely fashion. For example, I mail mine in early but it would be accepted and counted all the way up to 7 PM on election day. Tens of thousands mail in ballots have being coming in at the last minute. Many don’t like to vote too early because something may cause them to change their minds.

      When I vote in person I put the paper ballot through the machine myself. When it is mailed in someone else has to do it for me. It has to been insured that it is a genuine ballot – one that was sent out to me at my request in the mail. It has to be determined whether or not I showed up earlier and voted already. The signature has to be checked. It is not surprising that our most populous counties – Miami-Dade and Broward have the most problems. Of course its a lot easier if the elections weren’t so close. If the margin is wide enough the number of outstanding ballots to be counted can’t change the result.


      Best regards for Veterans Day.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I won’t trust any US election results until they return to paper ballots and all states accept the presence of international observers to monitor voter suppression. US electoral politics is a joke.


  5. toritto says:

    GP – Not much. Many states get a ton of absentee ballots – like New York for example or California. It’s just that OUR elections have been so damn CLOSE! That is when they come into play. New York would have had the same problem is the election day vote was 50/50! The race would be in limbo until all the absentee ballots were counted.



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