Volunteers in Broward County, a Democratic stronghold in Florida, recounted hundreds of thousands of votes this week by order of the state ― but it was all for nothing.
Joe D’Alessandro, the county’s director of elections, revealed Thursday that his team had missed the 3 p.m. deadline by just two minutes. The recount of some 700,000 ballots, done by machine, had gotten off to a slow start because of technical glitches, and the director attributed the missed deadline to another computer-related delay.
The secretary of state’s office did not accept Broward’s new numbers. Instead, the numbers it originally reported on Saturday will stand.
“Basically, I just worked my ass off for nothing,” D’Allesandro told reporters, blaming his “unfamiliarity” with a government website.
Brenda Snipes, the county’s supervisor of elections, told South Florida’s Sun-Sentinel that she holds herself accountable for the mistake.
Volunteers, however, can find some solace in the fact that Broward’s new numbers ― even if they had been accepted ― would likely not have changed the final results in the state’s contentious U.S. Senate and gubernatorial races.
For the Senate seat, Republican Gov. Rick Scott was leading incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson based on Saturday’s totals. In the governor’s race, Republican Ron DeSantis was ahead against Democrat Andrew Gillum. Broward’s machine recounts would not have narrowed their leads.
Palm Beach County also experienced mechanical difficulties, causing it to miss the state’s Thursday deadline too.
The Senate race is now headed to a manual recount, as the margin between Nelson and Scott stands at just 0.15 percent ― below the state-mandated recount threshold. Meanwhile, DeSantis appears in line to claim victory over Gillum.