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Nearly 3,000 Ballots Disappear During Florida’s Midterm Election Recount

As if having to do a recount in the first place isn’t bad enough, now Florida has come up short almost 3,000 votes during the machine recount for the state’s midterm election. Now many believe officials have relied on a flawed process to settle the outcome of three statewide elections.

According to the New York Times, the results of the machine recount from the November 6th election showed 900 fewer votes than those reported in the original statewide final number. The discrepancy was expected to grow by an additional 2,000 votes when updated numbers from Broward County, whose results initially were disqualified because they came in two minutes late, are being added to the results as well.

Palm Beach County found “dozens of precincts missing a significant number” of votes during the machine recount. Supervisor of Elections, Susan Bucher, said that the county could conclude that entire boxes of ballots may not have been counted. She blames an overheated and outdated ballot-scanning machine. 

The manufacturer of the machines used in Palm Beach said its technicians had witnessed Palm Beach County elections workers jam a paper clip into the scanner’s “enter” button to slow it down because the believed one of the machines was running too fast. The paper clip caused a short circuit that cut off the power.

Two power failures in Hillsborough County caused their recount to be short nearly 850 votes from the original tally. The elections supervisor decided to scrap the results rather than provide inaccurate numbers. Miami-Dade County was short about 500 votes, according to state records.

Florida is scheduled to certify results in the races for governor, Senate and agriculture commissioner on November 20th. Let’s hope to get it right!


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