Florida orders recount in Senate, governor races

Posted by Jimmy Minnish on November 10, 2018 under Links | Be the First to Comment

"The people of Florida deserve fairness and transparency," Governor Rick Scott told reporters

Miami (AFP) – Florida authorities on Saturday ordered a statewide recount in the contentious races for US Senate and governor, amid tit-for-tat accusations of fraud from the candidates — plunging the state once again into election uncertainty.

Eighteen years after the Sunshine State found itself at the heart of a battle for the US presidency, it was once again in the spotlight after Tuesday’s vote, which left the contests for statewide offices undecided.

Florida’s 67 counties had been given until midday (1700 GMT) on Saturday to submit unofficial totals.

State law triggers a machine recount if the difference in a race is within 0.5 percent. Florida’s secretary of state Ken Detzner issued the official order for the recounts after the deadline.

After the cut-off, the Senate race between outgoing Republican governor Rick Scott and incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson was super close: Scott’s lead stood at just 12,562 votes out of nearly 8.2 million cast, a margin of just 0.15 percent.

In the governor’s race, the latest unofficial results on the Florida division of elections website show Republican Ron DeSantis, who was backed by Donald Trump, leading Democratic candidate Andrew Gillum by just 33,684 votes out of more than 8.2 million cast, or a margin of 0.41 percent.

“Machine recount indicated,” the website said in both cases.

In a statement, Detzner said the results of the machine recount would be due on November 15 at 3:00 pm (2000 GMT).

Trump was not amused by the development, tweeting from France: “Trying to STEAL two big elections in Florida! We are watching closely!”

– Lawsuits –

With Florida’s developments raising partisan tensions to fresh highs, Trump on Friday alleged a major corruption scandal was brewing.

“What’s going on in Florida is a disgrace,” Trump told reporters.

“Bad things are going on in Broward Country, really bad things,” Trump added, referring to a Democrat-heavy county where officials were slowly counting votes including absentee and provisional ballots.

Scott filed lawsuits against Broward and Palm Beach counties alleging fraud after his lead narrowed.

On Saturday, he urged Florida’s sheriffs to “watch for any violations during the recount process as outlined in Florida law.”

Meanwhile, Nelson — accusing Scott of trying to suppress votes — fired back with a lawsuit of his own to block steps that would reject thousands of mail-in ballots.

The recount is reminiscent of the dramatic recounts that occurred in parts of Florida after the 2000 presidential election between George W. Bush and Al Gore.

Those recounts were halted by the US Supreme Court, and Bush defeated Gore by 537 votes in Florida to win the presidency. Broward County was at the heart of that controversy as well.

Most US political races have already been settled. But Florida is not alone.

In neighboring Georgia, the Democratic candidate for governor initiated legal action to ensure all votes were counted in her contest.

In Arizona, there is still no official result in a fierce US Senate battle that has Democrat Kyrsten Sinema leading Republican Martha McSally by a slim margin.

The ballot chaos raises fresh questions about why the world’s most powerful democracy is incapable of producing swift and accurate election results across all 50 states.


Jon Kyl: Democrats’ Legal Strategy in Arizona Senate Race Sounds ‘Like an Effort to Disenfranchise Voters’

Posted by Jimmy Minnish on under Links | Be the First to Comment

Kyrsten Sinema / Getty Images


As vote counting continues in Arizona after Tuesday’s midterm election, Sen. Jon Kyl (R., Ariz.) worried the Democrats legal strategy “sounds an awful lot like an effort to disenfranchise voters” from rural counties.

“Every single lawful vote in Arizona should be counted,” Kyl said in a statement on Friday. “And voting laws in our state should be applied uniformly across the map. Unfortunately, the Democrats legal strategy sounds an awful lot like an effort to disenfranchise voters from eleven counties from rural parts of our state and that’s troubling.”

Republicans in Arizona have filed a lawsuit that targets a rule in two counties, Maricopa and Pima, that allow voters to “fix issues with their ballots” up to five days after an election, CNBC reported. The lawsuit aims to either end this practice or have it implemented throughout the entire state.

Republicans have challenged the process of counting mail-in ballots — which account for about three-fourths of Arizona’s votes — in the state’s two largest counties. The lawsuit, which a judge will hear Friday, targets the practice of Maricopa and Pima Counties allowing voters to fix issues with their ballots for up to five days after Election Day. The state has a tedious process of matching signatures on voters’ registration forms to those on their ballots, and the counties let voters fix signature problems for days after the election.

The Arizona senate race between Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D., Ariz.) and Republican Rep. Martha McSally remains uncalled several days after polls closed. Less than 10,000 votes  separatethe candidates as of Friday afternoon. McSally appeared to be in the lead on election night, but as the votes continue to come in, Sinema has moved in the lead.

Kyl has served as a senator in Arizona since he was appointed by Gov. Doug Ducey (R.) in September, shortly after the death of John McCain. He previously served Arizona as a senator–from 1995 to 2013–and congressman–from 1987 to 1995.

The Florida Senate race between Gov. Rick Scott (R.) and Sen. Bill Nelson (D., Fla.) also continues, headed towards an automatic vote count that has been hotly contested. Scott has accused the Broward County elections supervisor of misconduct and fraud, and Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) has also demanded answers from election officials in Democrat-heavy counties.

“We’ve all seen the incompetence and irregularities in vote tabulation in Broward and Palm Beach counties for years, but here we go again,” Scott said during a press conference on Thursday. “I will not sit idly by while unethical liberals try to steal this election from the great people of Florida.”


Media Blamed More than Trump for Dividing Nation, New Politico Poll Shows

Posted by Jimmy Minnish on November 3, 2018 under Links | Be the First to Comment

By Craig Bannister | November 2, 2018 | 2:42 PM EDT


More registered voters say that the media is doing more to divide than to unify the nation than think President Donald Trump is doing is doing so, a new Politico/Morning Consult poll shows.

Respondents of the survey of 2,543 registered voters were asked the following two questions:

“Generally, would you say President Trump has done more to unite or divide the country since he took office?”


“Generally, would you say the national news media has done more to unite or divide the country since President Trump took office?”

Nearly two-thirds of registered voters said the national news media has done more to divide (64%) than to unite the country – compared to 56% who say Trump has done more to divide than unite since taking office.

Likewise, more voters said Trump has been more unifying than the national news media. While 30% said that Trump has done more to unify than divide, only 17% credited the media for doing so.

Opinions of Democrats and Republicans differed greatly, while those of Independents mirrored the overall national results. Democrats viewed the national news media as being more unifying, while Republicans viewed the president as being more unifying.


  • Democrats: 7% more unifying, 88% more divisive, 5% don’t know/no opinion (DK/NO)
  • Independents: 30% more unifying, 54% more divisive, 16% DK/NO
  • Republicans: 55% more unifying, 25% more divisive, 20% DK/NO
  • Total: 30% more unifying, 56% divisive, 13% DK/NO


  • Dems: 28% more unifying, 46% more divisive, 26% DK/NO
  • Independents: 14% more unifying, 67% more divisive, 19% DK/NO
  • Republicans: 9% more unifying, 80% more divisive, 11% DK/NO
  • Total: 17% more unifying, 64% more divisive, 19% DK/NO

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