Lee County works toward machine recount deadline

Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:

The fate of the 2018 midterm election lies in the hands of election offices across the state. The supervisors and staff are now up against deadline to recount all votes and confirm who won three statewide races.

Lee County Supervisor of Elections Office staff are working hard to submit their recount to Tallahassee on deadline for Thursday, Nov. 15.

“We’re the eighth largest county for registered voters,” said Tommy Doyle, Lee County supervisor of elections. “We’re doing good. We’re well organized. We got a good staff, and we’re going to work until it’s done.”

Doyle and staff are working 14 hours daily toward recount submission deadline. There are an estimated 290,000 ballots for Lee County’s election department to recount.

“The process for the recount is just time consuming,” Doyle said. “Running every single ballot from early voting, election day and vote by mail, which we’ve already done already. Now, we’re doing it again.”

The process has not run as smoothly for fellow counties in the state. Broward County and Palm Beach County election departments did not finish the counting and submission of the first unofficial results until days after the election. Both counties have a large Democratic voter population.

This sparked widespread outrage. And Rick Scott, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, filed lawsuits against both county supervisors.

On Monday, new controversy followed when the Bay County Supervisor of Elections Office admitted to allowing voters to cast email ballots in the wake of Hurricane Michael. Bay County is known to have a large Republican voter population.

The Thursday deadline is for the machine recounts. If the tabulated results show the margin for any of the three races is at a quarter of a percentage point, an automatic hand recount will be ordered by the state.

Doyle said, once ballots are counted, he is confident it will restore public faith in the voting system.

“I think it’s going to show voters in both parties that our system does work,” Doyle said. “And we should be confident that it does.”

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