It’s a long-agonized-over machine recount total delivered two minutes too late.
But there’s nothing ironic about it – this is, after all, Florida’s Broward County, which has been plagued with issues in its vote-counting efforts for years.
Given that history, it was unsurprising – but still galling to volunteers – when the director of elections here revealed that the county had submitted its machine recount data two minutes after the state-mandated 3 p.m. Thursday deadline.
The secretary of state’s office did not accept the new numbers and so, after days of painstaking work, Broward’s count Thursday remained the same as it was on Saturday, when it submitted its initial unofficial election results.
“Basically, I just worked my ass off for nothing,” said Joe D’Alessandro, the director of elections for Broward County.
He attributed the error to his unfamiliarity with the secretary of state website.
Election boards across the state have been using voting machines to recount ballots this week, with some of the larger counties working all day and through the night. The Senate and agricultural commissioner races are now headed to hand reviews of overvotes and undervotes, a more narrowly circumscribed but also potentially volatile pool of votes.
Broward wasn’t the only county with issues.
Palm Beach County also failed to meet the recount deadline, meaning last week’s unofficial count out of the county is the one that it will take into the next phase of recounts. Hillsborough County said it did a full machine recount but chose to report its initial numbers, which were higher in aggregate, because the figures were so similar and because they couldn’t assess the impact of two power outages and human error on the recount.