Midterm elections

Midterm elections

Journee Trotter , Sports Editor

With midterm elections over, the newly elected officials are looking forward to their new terms. A familiar theme reappeared this midterm; being ballot recounting.

With there being extremely close races for governor and senator in Florida, frustrations were at an all-time high with low vote counts in two of their most populous counties. This began with the race between Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson and Republican Rick Scott, the current governor. The race between the two continued to remain too close to call, when Scott’s lead over Nelson slimmed down to 15,000 votes. This then caused the election to be put within the .25% margin, which would require a hand recount under Florida law.

For the race for Governor, Democrat Andrew Gillum had conceded to Republican Ron DeSantis, but when more votes were counted after Election Day, it brought the victory margin down to .44%; enough for a machine recount.

Despite the small vote margins, experts reported that there were several aspects to Florida’s midterm election that created the voting controversy. One of them being that the counties in the epicenter of the controversy, Broward and Palm Beach, having a previous history of delayed vote counting. Broward County had in fact been accused of making mistakes, along with its heavily Democratic population that can have a large effect on tight races.

Broward County played an important role in the Presidential Election of 2000, where the tight race between George W. Bush and Al Gore made its way to the Supreme Court because of disqualified ballots. This ultimately led to the discontinuation of the recount of votes in Broward and three other counties, making Bush the president. Broward also saw some troubles in the 2004 presidential election, when it lost some absentee ballots.

Despite this, experts say that this year’s controversy could be due to the fact that Broward takes longer to count the votes because they still use physical ballots, causing the machines to take a longer time to read each one. Along with this, experts also stress that taking days to count votes is normal.

The senate race ultimately ended in Rick Scott winning by a mere 12,603 votes. The governor race had Ron DeSantis as the victor, also winning by a small margin of 33,683 votes.