Broward County makes major progress in recounting ballots

Officials estimate recount 55-60 percent done

By Trent Kelly - Reporter, Ian Margol - Reporter

LAUDERHILL, Fla. - Broward County is making major progress in recounting ballots for the Florida governor, U.S. Senate and agriculture commissioner races. 

"So we're done with all the sorting. We've done the early voting," Broward Election Planning and Development Director Joe D'Alessandro said.

Broward County elections officials provided an update Wednesday morning on their round-the-clock recount efforts, saying they are well on track to be finished ahead of Thursday's 3 p.m. deadline barring any last-minute delays.

"We will probably transition sometime either this afternoon or early evening to the Election Day recount, and we are looking to be completed sometime early in the morning," D'Alessandro said. 

Dozens of workers completed the time-consuming ballot sorting process overnight, where pages not needed for the recount were removed.

They also finished recounting all early votes.

Their next task is to start tallying mail-in and absentee ballots before finishing up with the Election Day votes.

Officials believe they are 55 percent to 60 percent done -- a task that seemed nearly impossible just a few days ago after the county got off to a late start, due in part to a machine malfunction.

Officials said Wednesday that all ballot counting machines are running smoothly and are being routinely cleaned to make sure there are no errors.

"We're going to meet the deadline regardless of  if it's as it stands right now or if it's extended," Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes said. 

Meanwhile, tempers flared outside the Supervisor of Elections Office as a group of Democrats attempted to hold a press conference and about a dozen Republican protestors yelled over them.

That contentiousness comes less 24 hours after Snipes acknowledged that her family had been threatened over the phone.

"I think it's unfortunate," Snipes said. "I think elections are open to everyone. It's the foundation of our democracy. And to threaten people, misuse their personal information to make their families uncomfortable, it kind of throws me back to my days in Alabama."

Snipes disclosed Tuesday that she is considering stepping down once the recount is done, but only after talking to her family.

"I prefer to think about my options," she told reporters. "This has been a hard time for my family, my staff."


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