MENU

Reason.com

Free Minds & Free Markets

Florida's Recount Ends

Two weeks after Election Day, Florida has selected a senator.

|||Miami Herald/TNS/NewscomMiami Herald/TNS/NewscomTwo weeks after Floridians went to the polls, the fight over Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson's seat is finally over.

The gap between Nelson and Republican Gov. Rick Scott slowly came within a 0.5 percent margin, which triggered an automatic recount. (Florida does not have runoff elections for Senate races.) The Wednesday after the election, Nelson's campaign announced that it would be pursuing a recount, per state rules. The heavily Democratic counties of Broward and Palm Beach hindering the process's progress as they slowly tallied absentee and early voting ballots. Several lawsuits were filed, including one from Scott accusing Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes of withholding information about counted ballots.

A number of problems arose. There were discoveries of unmailed ballots, issues with voting technology, and questions about whether absentee votes would be counted. (Florida law gives a 10-day grace period following an election to count overseas absentee ballots.) Snipes found herself at the center of even more controversy when the county missed a recount deadline. After Scott sued to impound the county's voting machines, a judge ordered three deputies who were not affiliated with Snipes to oversee another coun and leave her out of the process.

Sunday's recount results showed Scott ahead of Nelson by over 10,000 votes. Though the results will not be certified until Tuesday, Nelson chose to concede the race to Scott:

With the win, Scott became the fifth person in the state to be elected to both the governor's seat and a Senate seat.

In the meantime, Snipes has announced her resignation. In a Sunday letter to Scott, who is still acting as governor, she says that she'll be stepping down in January 2019.

The state's gubernatorial race had a messy aftermath too. After initially conceding to Republican Rep. Ron DeSantis, Democratic Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum recanted his concession and called on all votes to be counted in his race. On Thursday, it was confirmed that DeSantis had indeed beaten Gillum. DeSantis largely ignored the recount effort and instead began appointing a transition team for the upcoming year.

Meanwhile, Democratic challenger Nikki Fried defeated Republican Matt Caldwell to become Florida's next commissioner of agriculture. Fried is a former medical marijuana lobbyist whose campaign bank account with Wells Fargo was shut down because of her political platform, which included expanding access to medical marijuana.

Photo Credit: Miami Herald/TNS/Newscom

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • John||

    Florida elected a Senator. Words matter.

  • BigT||

    Voters elected a Senator. Words can be challenging.

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    Only one word can be challenging. :)

  • Pro Libertate||

    What's weird is that Bill Nelson is an astronaut. His mission specialty was BRING HOME FLORIDA bacon, but he still flew in space. John Glenn did the same thing, but he was an astronaut first.

    Hope Scott turns out okay. Will be better than Nelson, surely.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Funny thing that many military officers are Democrats.

    Most enlisted people are not Democrats.

    There are Some talented officers who lead people. A bunch of shitty officers too who cannot inspire people so they order people around.

  • Gray_Jay||

    "Funny thing that many military officers are Democrats.

    Most enlisted people are not Democrats."

    Sure about that last? I'm not. I actually couldn't tell you for sure which side of the aisle most people in the service vote for, when they think about it at all, but there are a whole lot more types of people in the armed forces than the lower to middle class rural whites you might have been thinking about when you made your post. A lot those guys vote Democrat too.

    To be fair, the cohort I mentioned did make up a majority of the combat arms folks, last I bothered to check what Gallup or Pew had to say about it.

    I'm really surprised to see that Scott pulled it out.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Glad Snipes stepped down. At best she was a complete failure in her occupation.

  • Pro Libertate||

    At best.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Yep, at the very best.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    We don't even wanna talk about at worst.

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    Brat or liver?

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    Met

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I sure hope they promote from within, someone who knows the system that's already in place so the transition is as smooth as possible.

  • BigT||

    Wouldn't want to upset that smooth operation!

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Meanwhile, Democratic challenger Nikki Fried defeated Republican Matt Caldwell to become Florida's next commissioner of agriculture

    I've been sitting by the wireless nightly to hear about this particular race.

  • Pro Libertate||

    For many, many years, it was Charles Bronson. Really. Not the actor, of course, but that's still badass.

  • Remember to keep it all polit||

    I believe in Florida that office controls concealed carry permits.

  • Griffin3||

    Indeed it does.
    Amazingly, I renewed my Concealed Carry permit online this year, and I was expecting it to take a little less than the six weeks promised by the website for the permit to arrive, since when I initially applied, it took less than the announced time. But, I was pleasantly surprised when my permit arrived *5 days later*. The Dept. of Agriculture, under Mr. Caldwell, certainly has run a tight ship in that department, and I hope Ms. Fried continues the good work.

  • Remember to keep it all polit||

    The general worry is that as a Democrat, she will do her best to hobble the process. I have no idea how realistic that worry is.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The process deserves to be gone.

    The 2nd Amendment does not allow any infringement of the right ot keep and bear Arms. Gun registration is unconstitutional.

    The national trend is moving toward constitutional carry, which is states having no concealed carry or open carry restrictions.

  • Nardz||

    I voted for her.
    Why?*
    Meh, I dunno.
    But I did manage to tick at least one box for a D, R, and L. Maybe that was part of the reason why I voted for her. Token D...

    *didn't know agcom handled cc permits.
    Bad me

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    With all this evidence of Republican dirty tricks in the midterms, I wonder if Beto has considered demanding a recount? I really expected him to win given all the lawn signs and bumper stickers I saw despite living hundreds of miles away from Texas.

    Oh well. I'm trying not to let these stolen elections (Mia Love, Georgia's governor, etc.) prevent me from celebrating what was an undeniably successful day for #TheResistance. Much to Putin's disappointment, the #BlueTsunami happened just as I had predicted.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Nah, this whole election just cleared the way for Beto to run for President.

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    I have mentioned that my top tier of candidates (Harris, Warren, Gillibrand) belong to one or more marginalized groups, and I would prefer the next President not to be another straight white able-bodied cis-male. However if an un-diverse person has to win, I rank Beto ahead of Cuomo, Biden, and Sanders. The passion he inspires is very real.

    Maybe Kamala Harris can be the Presidential nominee and Beto her VP. That combination would really excite my friends.

  • Bubba Jones||

    What if Beto cut off a leg in solidarity with the differently abled?

  • BigT||

    He already had his balls removed, so no need.

  • Griffin3||

    Maybe Kamala Harris can be the Presidential nominee


    Whoops, I vomited in my mouth a little bit.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Beto isn't a white male name. And he's running for El Prezidentay!

  • Ben of Houston||

    So you would vote Crenshaw for President? Or does the fact that he is still able to see out of one eye disqualifying for you?

  • JesseAz||

    Wow... no Spartacus. Et tu OBL?!?!? Et Tu!!!!

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    The Persian Porn Star ran for office?

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    60 million Americans voted for House Democrats in a midterm election. That's roughly as many as have voted for Republicans lately in presidential elections. America's electorate becomes less Republican -- less rural, less white, less bigoted, less religious, less backward -- daily. Orange County is now blue. Republicans seem to left with hoping they can pull off a four-cushion bank shot in the Electoral College despite losing the popular vote, the cities, the suburbs, an the educated communities.

    Good luck with that, clingers.

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    Excellent point. The #HousePopularVote is a very important metric, as Ezra Klein has noted. If Democrats had won the #HousePopularVote but did not gain a majority of seats, it would have made the House as illegitimate as the Senate. Thankfully that didn't happen.

  • Sometimes a Great Notion||

    Yup the country will swing back towards the Democrats. Then they'll elect another asshole who lies about reducing the impact of the Patriot Act and no more stupid ME wars and those younger voters will feel betrayed and move on. I know from experience.

    Carry on warmongers.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    This guy gets it.

  • Sevo||

    "Republicans seem to left with hoping they can pull off a four-cushion bank shot in the Electoral College"

    This is the asshole's way of spelling W-I-N-N-I-N-G.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Kirklamd is gonna be upset on 2020 because nearly every democrat who wanted to vote did vote. Hundreds of thousands of Republican voters didnt vote this election for whatever reason. There were so many close races because of those GOP voters not voting.

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    Your #BlueTsunami collapsed into a puddle of #PurpleSludge as the Republicans, not only held, but have increased their majority in the Senate.

    With the Republican's retaining control of the Senate, the House democrats won't able to do anything more than make a lot of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Bottom line, 53 senators plus Pence means Murkowski and Susan Collins don't count for shit anymore--am I right?

  • Griffin3||

    Gawds, I hope so.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Yup. No more Senate drama.

    Most stuff from the House will just get quickly voted down by the Senate. The Senate will quickly and quietly confirm most Trump nominations. No more McCains or flakes to delay Republican senate agendas.

  • BigT||

    The judges will start wearing red robes!

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    With the exception of confirmations, the Democratic majority in the House means the Republican majority in the Senate doesn't count for shit anymore, either.

    Doesn't really matter, though -- the Trump administration will be too busy with subpoenas, defense lawyers, investigations, discovery obligations, plea bargains, ethics-related reimbursements, and turning state's evidence for a couple of years to sign any bills, anyway.

  • Sometimes a Great Notion||

    So your saying no Medicare expansion part Z. Whooo!

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    What, you think they House Democrats can pass laws (even over a presidential veto) without the approval of the Senate?

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    No. The important points are that the Republicans have been largely neutered -- the House will stymie any right-wing projects, and House subpoenas, investigations, and criminal referrals will keep the Trump administration busy and flustered for a couple of years -- and that the American electorate is trending toward Democrats in several ways and several locations.

    That Republicans' Senate majority will be able to confirm some judges for a couple of years, but has established a context that will enable the Democrats to use power forcefully (and ignore Republican whining) when they get it.

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    "and House subpoenas, investigations, and criminal referrals will"

    Amount to squat.

  • soldiermedic76||

    Let me get this straight... It was wrong when the Republicans subpoenaed the Obama administration endlessly but it is okay for Democrats to do the same to Republicans?

  • Sevo||

    Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland|11.19.18 @ 7:15PM|#
    "...and House subpoenas, investigations, and criminal referrals will keep the Trump administration busy and flustered for a couple of years -..."

    Notice what is important here is Trump being "flustered", not any action intended to accomplish anything.
    Asshole, thanks for making your TDS all too clear.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Thanks goodness we don't have any precedent for an administration to tell the House to pound sand on their subpoenas, right, hicklib?

  • Dizzle||

    How mad you gonna be when rbg gets replaced by trump too?

  • JesseAz||

    In this thread... Kirkland admits he doesn't understand the judicial nomination process. Kirkland... proving you can live to 70 with only a 2nd grade education.

  • Sometimes a Great Notion||

    TLDR; I am just going to assume Gore is now our new president.

  • Bronze Khopesh||

    Gore Vidal died in 2012.

  • Rat on a train||

    He's too busy playing RDR.

  • JesseAz||

    That game consumes your soul. Stop making me eat shit in games Rockstar. Didn't you learn your lesson in GTA?!?!

  • loveconstitution1789||

    ManBearPig was discussed on South Park this season.

  • BigT||

    Disgusting !

  • Telcontar the Wandchipper||

    No one could be more blessed

    Just as well he lost. He'd have been run out for micro-aggressing against Muslims, Buddhists, Zoroastrians, maybe Christians (if we have any spare space on the document for token inclusiveness), etc...

  • DenverJ||

    Wood Nikki Fried. Also, what a great name for someone in the marijuana industry.

  • Bubba Jones||

    How different were the results for the Snipes recount versus the "supervised" recount?

  • EscherEnigma||

    Like seriously, in 2020 can we get some non-partisan outside-state election observers in Florida? Every damn election we get this nonsense. If it's not voting machines or hanging chads, it's unreasonable lines and dead voters. Florida clearly can't behave like an adult on this matter.

  • Telcontar the Wandchipper||

    Florida Man is permanently stuck at the mental age of 3. Check your normative privilege, ableist fuck.

  • EscherEnigma||

    And fully grown adults that are "stuck at the mental age of 3" don't get to live as fully functional independent adults, they live in group homes or with family who manage them.

  • Telcontar the Wandchipper||

    They always said that when fascism came to America, it would be wrapped in an enigma and carrying an Escher.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Florida needs a kind of CPS, but for voters.

  • esteve7||

    Wow, nice job reason leaving out all the corruption of Snipes and her vote manufacturing. And violating the law on numerous occasions. And not submitting recount results on time that favored Scott.

    Okay so say I'm a (registered) Republican, but for president I didn't vote for anyone. So then in the back room they just assume I must have voted for Trump and correct my ballot.

    Yeah.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Hahaha. Even Democratic operatives could not steal the GOP Governor positions in Georgia and Florida nor the GOP Senate seat in Florida.

    *The Blue wave caused a loss of 2 Democrat Senate seats overall with 6 GOP flips of Democrats Senate seats and 2 Democrat flips...
    *House seat gains of 33 seats for Democrats but still not reaching the GOP's 235 House seats this 115th Congress. 218 seats for a majority and this Congress has 7 House seats vacant for various reasons...

  • Rich||

    Gillum recanted his concession and called on all votes to be counted

    As opposed to counting only Democrat votes, or what?

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    As opposed to counting only legally and properly cast votes. You'd be surprised at how many people manage to screw it up, spoiling their ballot.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    After Scott sued to impound the county's voting machines, a judge ordered three deputies who were not affiliated with Snipes to oversee another coun and leave her out of the process.

    Potentially problematic typo.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Fist as the only confirmed HnR poster that reads the articles.

  • BigT||

    "Potentially problematic typo."

    Which letter would you have preferred be left out of count?

  • JoeBlow123||

    LOL

  • Dalben||

    So after pulling sorts of shenanigans and breaking the law she gets to retire at 75, probably with a nice government pension too. That will sure discourage anyone from trying similar stunts in 2020.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Shouldn't the headline read-

    Florida Democrats Fail to Manufacture Enough Ballots to Overturn Voter's Preference in Florida AGAIN

    Because that's what actually happened.

    Poor Mia Love is going to have her victory stolen by 'same day registrations'

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online