For all intents and purposes, Sen. Bill Nelson (who is soon to be former Sen. Bill Nelson) has already lost the seat he has held for 17 years to challenger Rick Scott. In spite of this reality, Nelson continues to rage, rage against the dying of the light, filing lawsuit after lawsuit in a futile effort to be declared winner.
All through the process, Nelson has had a staunch ally in Broward County, Fla., Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes, who herself is not long for the world of politics. Snipes, who has been accused of ordering election workers to fill in ballots, went the extra mile for Nelson, even when her actions reinforced the growing sentiment that she is incompetent, if not crooked.
On Thursday, the day the results of a machine recount were due, Snipes waited until the eleventh hour to submit the ballots — plus an additional two minutes, which was long enough to invalidate three days of intense tabulation. Director of Broward Elections Planning Joseph D’Alessandro is quoted by CBS Miami as lamenting “I just worked my ass off for nothing.”
Snipes claimed it wasn’t her fault — that she emailed the ballots to the state attorney general’s office in a timely fashion but that a software glitch interfered with the transmission. According to D’Alessandro, the failure to get the votes in on time was an “operator error” and unfamiliarity with the state website.
That sounds implausible but not impossible. Yet it is hard to overlook the fact that Scott picked up an additional 779 net votes as a result of the machine recount. With the former governor already ahead by 12,000 votes, those pesky 779 votes would just constitute another impediment to Nelson’s victory as an unprecedented statewide hand recount gets underway.
In the meantime the Florida attorney general has urged police to investigate the overall election results in the Sunshine State.