Cal Thomas: Fixing Florida’s election process

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Today is Tuesday, November 20th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from member-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.

NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher. Next up, Cal Thomas on Florida’s dysfunctional voting process.

CAL THOMAS, COMMENTATOR: After two recounts—one by machine, the other by hand—after a second concession speech by Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum; after hordes of lawyers descended on the state to argue that “every vote should be counted,” including mail-in ballots with faulty signatures that were rejected the first time around, Florida’s election is finally over.

The results are roughly what they were on election night two weeks ago. Ron DeSantis will be Florida’s new Republican governor. Rick Scott will be the state’s new Republican senator after incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson finally conceded on Sunday. This gives Republicans an almost clean sweep of Florida’s statewide offices for the first time since the 19th century. It is a rare bright spot for the GOP in an election season that saw Republicans lose their House majority and, depending on the outcome of a run-off next month in Mississippi, pick up just one or two Senate seats.

Brenda Snipes, the supervisor of elections in Florida’s heavily Democratic Broward County came under fire for the way she and her office handled the recount process. Just hours after the final votes were counted, she resigned.

Last week during the hand recount, Snipes said more than 2,000 ballots had been “misfiled,” but she was sure they were somewhere in the building. Videos purporting to show ballots being mishandled and placed in unsecured locations fueled conspiracy theories.

Familiar recriminations about Florida’s dysfunctional voting process plagued this year’s election. How does that happen in the 21st century when most state legislators and the U.S. House of Representatives use electronic methods to immediately register their votes?

After the 2000 presidential election, where recounts in Florida delayed certification for more than a month, there were promises of reform, but each election since has had minor and sometimes major problems.

Now that Snipes has resigned, her replacement should be someone whose integrity and nonpartisanship is beyond question. That person should be in place long before the 2020 presidential election, which is likely to be contentious enough without the prospect of more recounts.

For WORLD Radio, I’m Cal Thomas.

(AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee) Broward County staff member Daphnee Sainvil places a ballot back in an envelope after it was examined by members of the canvassing board at the Broward County Supervisor of Elections after a hand recount, Friday, Nov. 16, 2018, in Lauderhill, Fla.

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