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Ben. No More, No Less. @BJS_quire
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THREAD: Much punditry around the #FloridaRecount but not much in the way of education regarding what is, in fact, happening and is supposed to happen under the law.

After 14 hours working the recount in my county, I want to get a few things straight. Let's dig in.

The initial "recount" is mandated by law if any contest is within .50%. Most know this. But what they don't know if how this "machine recount" works. Across the state VOLUNTEER poll workers are sitting in front of voting machines simply re-feeding the ballots. That is it.

Fraud? No chance. They are forbidden from having anything aside from a red pen. They cannot do anything but feed the machines. It looks and sounds like the video slots at a cheap casino. One worker even said, "When do I get my coupon for the free buffet?"

They just put the ballots in. If the ballot contains no "overvote" or "undervote" then the ballot is done and goes back into the sealed bag and won't ever see the light of day again. A brief aside re: "overvotes" and "undervotes."

"Overvote" = a ballot on which the voter marked for 2 or more candidates in the same race.

"Undervote" = a ballot on which the machine did not read any vote in any one of the three races being recounted.

Now, these machines and the Supervisors of Elections are pretty amazing. The machines were meticulously re-programmed to handle the recount of 3 races. I watched as those in my county were tested and they ran like a top. So, no problem there.

If a ballot contains any "undervote" or "overvote" it is set aside in a separate bin that nobody touches except the 2 (bipartisan) workers assigned to each precinct being recounted. Those are then brought to another machine that tabulates the total number of "over/undervotes"

As such, moving the needle on the actual vote count is difficult in a "machine recount" because those "overvotes" and "undervotes" are NOT actually examined at this stage. Just set aside. Because they are only important in the NEXT step... if the race gets there.

By that, I mean that at the end of the "machine recount," if a race is within .25%, then it goes to a "manual recount." However, and here is where people get confused, the "manual recount" DOES NOT recount EVERY VOTE cast. It ONLY counts those ballots with "under/over votes."

That all being said, here is the reality and why the Palm Beach, Miami-Dade, Broward Supervisors of Elections are correct that there seems absolutely NO WAY that they could finish this "machine recount" by Thursday.

It is simple math.

In my little county, we had approximately 116,000 votes. So, from 1pm yesterday until 6am today, these dedicated poll workers fed each and every one of those ballots into the machines, as fast as they could. There were very few "jams" or other issues and it went smoothly.

Broward had over 700,000 votes cast.
Palm Beach had just about 700,000 votes cast.
Miami-Dade had over 800,000 votes cast.

They aren't using more machines than we are by any reports I have seen. So, assuming they have as few issues as we did, it will take them 7-9x LONGER.

There is simply no way they can finish by the arbitrary Thursday deadline. Why do I say the Thursday, November 15 deadline is arbitrary? Because BY FLORIDA LAW, many ORIGINAL votes, not yet counted, must be accepted as late as Friday, November 16.

What votes, you ask?

OVERSEAS & MILITARY VOTES!!!! Florida Statute 101.6952 mandates that "Each federal write-in absentee ballot from an overseas voter in a presidential preference primary or general election received by 10 days after the date of the election SHALL be canvassed..."

Oh yeah, a lot of news about "duplicating" ballots. Here is what that is. Many times, a ballot will not be accepted by the machine. Here are some real examples I saw: 1) a torn edge, 2) crayon on the ballot from a child, 3) a crease.

For those, the ballot is "duplicated."

The duplication process is this: 2 members of the canvassing board, with party/candidate representatives watching sit with the rejected ballot and a new ballot. One member reads the votes cast while the other bubbles them in on the duplicate ballot.

Then, after it is duplicated, they back through and verify that it was done correctly. Now, in my little county, we had a 1 page (front and back) ballot. Duplicating a single ballot took about 2 minutes.


Duplicating a single ballot in Broward would likely take 5-7 minutes, and again, they had a ton more ballots than we did. So, just another issue that slows the process, but DOES NOT lead to any fraud or illegitimate votes.

So, the bottom line is this. Democracy takes time. Democracy is not easy.

Even Scott's SOS says there is no evidence of fraud. From my personal observation, they are right. The question is a simple one: Do you want all the votes to be counted or don't you?

If you want all the votes counted, filter out the noise. It is pure sound and fury signifying precisely NOTHING.

If you don't want all the votes counted, and specifically the military and overseas votes which, again, are not even due yet, then take a self-inventory.

Above all else, my work at the recount served to reassure me that the system IS working. The only threat is from those who want to STOP the system rather than let it come to its conclusion.

And, finally, let's be clear. If @ScottforFlorida WANTED to let the system finish, he - AND ONLY HE - has the power to immediately extend deadlines and make sure that every vote, whether mail-in, early,military, overseas, or other legitimate form, is counted.

Why isn't he?

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