State of Elections

William & Mary Law School | Election Law Society

Tag: Broward County

150 Unfortunate Voters

By: Matthew Catron

Again…all eyes are on Florida, this time after the 2018 Midterm Election. While Broward County and the statewide recount seem to be caught in the spotlight, another controversy is brewing in the Florida Panhandle. In this case, the chief election official of Bay County allowed approximately 150 voters to cast their ballots via fax or email.

Hurricane Michael hit the Florida Panhandle in mid-October and had a lasting effect on the infrastructure and residents of several coastal counties. As a result of the devastation, Gov. Rick Scott issued an executive order extending the deadline for early voting and increasing the number of early voting locations in eight hurricane-hit counties. Gov. Scott issued this executive order pursuant to the governor’s power under the Florida Elections Emergency Act. However, Bay County Supervisor of Elections Mark Andersen went beyond the governor’s executive order and accepted roughly 150 ballots via fax or email. These electronically transmitted ballots were cast by voters who were displaced by Hurricane Michael.

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Another Election, Another Voting Controversy in Florida

By Nick Raffaele:

At this point, most everyone is familiar with Florida’s comically pitiful track record when it comes to administering elections. The state certainly earned this reputation when it suffered what is probably its most notorious voting disaster in 2000, and Broward County in particular has consistently maintained poor performance ever since. The county was a standout in 2000 when it used lackadaisical standards in reviewing contested punch card ballots containing dimpled chads, and even included these unclear votes in their certified results. Broward doubled down on their anything goes attitude towards elections in 2003, when they sent mail-in ballots to voters who had moved and sparked fear of fraudulent votes. Continue reading

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