Palm Beach County is Florida’s third largest county and ground zero for the historic 2000 electoral crisis that has led the state to try and correct its flawed vote-counting process. The county may not make the deadline for recounting votes in at least two tightly contested races. The decade-old machines can only tally one race at a time, so they won’t have enough time to process a recount in the races for governor or commissioner by 3:00 pm.
This issue is sure to start a heated debate over what determines if a deadline should be extended for the recount, which Secretary of State Ken Detzner says by law he’s not allowed to grant. Palm Beach County Republican party chairman Michael Barnett said a lot of angry people would be filing lawsuits if they didn’t meet the deadline.
The urgency to meet the deadline has put Palm Beach in hot water again in an explosive election and Bucher the supervisor in 2009 is under major scrutiny. Scott, joined by President Donald Trump and Senator Rubio, have accused Democrats of voter fraud, although no fraud has been found by state police or monitors sent by the state’s election office. Barnett has also complained that Bucher should have anticipated problems with the outdated machines and prepared a backup plan. So, now the question is what happens if the elections office doesn’t make the deadline?
According to Florida laws that govern recounts, if Palm Beach County doesn’t finish the machine recount, it must submit its original count with an explanation for why it failed to meet the deadline.
Kendall Coffey said election law revisions were intended to keep the count going until it’s completed. He added, “You don’t give up just because you missed the first deadline and stop,”