Our long, long national nightmare continues, as Florida maintained its well-earned reputation as the absolute worst when it comes to things like “democracy” and “being able to do a single goddamned thing right.”
Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner on Thursday ordered the still-uncalled Senate election between Gov. Rick Scott and incumbent Bill Nelson into a new phase of torture, after a machine recount of the more than 8 million votes in that race ended up within the margin to trigger, yes, a hand recount. We will now be treated to endless cable news shots of overworked election officials staring inscrutably at a mountain of ballots, while the rest of the country begs for the sweet release of death.
There is currently a 0.154 margin between Scott’s 4,097,689 votes and Nelson’s 4,085,086, according to the Miami Herald. In the closely-watched governor’s race between Andrew Gillum and Ron DeSantis, the machine recount kept DeSantis just above the quarter-point threshold to trigger another recount, per the Herald. The margin in the race for agriculture commissioner also fell below the threshold to trigger a hand recount.
As the paper reported, Florida’s 67 counties now have until Sunday to examine thousands of over and under-vote ballots (those in which someone may have marked too many or too few choices) to determine a winner in the race. Pending any lawsuits to extend or delay the process, state law requires the election results be certified by Tuesday.
President Donald Trump this week demanded Florida just go ahead and name a winner already. And while I’m always wary of even half-agreeing with this president, I can’t help but feel like a few more days of this back-and-forth might send me over the edge.