NOVEMBER 09, 2012
Three days after the presidential election Florida remains the butt of all jokes for failing to complete its vote tally, bringing back nightmarish memories of the state’s electoral meltdown a dozen years ago in the race between Al Gore and George W. Bush.
The U.S. Supreme Court had to intervene in that fiasco because the election was so close the outcome actually depended on Florida. That’s clearly not the case this time, but the fact remains that the Sunshine State is an election disaster. As of late Thursday four major counties—Broward, Palm Beach, Duval and Miami-Dade—had not finished counting all ballots.
Early this morning, election supervisors in Broward and Miami-Dade announced that they finally completed the job late Thursday night after working around the clock for days. Judicial Watch was on the ground in Miami-Dade, Florida’s largest county, with 829 precincts and 1.2 million voters. Its voting website advertises that it’s “ELECTION READY” though there was little evidence of that this week.
Incredibly, Miami-Dade Supervisor of Elections Penelope Townsley had the audacity to insist at a press conference this week that her office “conducted a very good election.” After being pressed by a reporter, Townsley was forced to concede that she was “embarrassed” and “disappointed,” but refused to answer questions about the long lines and major delays at the polls that made national headlines. During early voting lines extended for blocks and frustrated voters waited hours to cast a ballot.
Now, after the fact, Miami-Dade’s mayor is calling for an investigation. In the local newspaper he pledged to uncover what went wrong by forming a task force that will examine the scandal. Townsley, the beleaguered election supervisor, claims she’s waiting for the “after-action report” to determine what went wrong, assuring that “we will learn from those lessons.”
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