Florida Finally Tallies Votes, Obama Won
MIAMI (CBS4) – Four days after the election, Florida has finally tallied up its votes.
“It’s done. It’s finished,” voter Norma Cameron said. “Thank God.”
Florida’s 67 counties had until noon Saturday to submit the totals to the Secretary of State’s office in Tallahassee.
“I’m glad it’s finally over,” voter Theresa Rolon said. “Who finally won? I don’t even know.”
President Obama was declared the winner of the state’s 29 electoral votes, earning 50% to Mitt Romney’s 49.1% in Florida.
The final electoral count stood at 332 for Obama and 206 for Romney.
Despite the outcome, some said their vote seems irrelevant now.
“We are the joke of everybody right now,” Rolon said. “Everybody is telling us maybe we shouldn’t be allowed to vote if this takes that long.”
Thousands of voters stood in long lines during early voting and on Election Day. Art Vanarsdale waited an hour and a half to cast his ballot Tuesday. While the long line was expected, the long wait for the final tally was not.
“Somebody needs to lose their job and start all over,” Vanarsdale said. “That was an embarrassment.”
Roughly 8.5 million ballots were cast in Florida, a record Governor Rick Scott is proud of.
In a statement Saturday he said, “We are glad that so many voters made their voices heard in this election, but as we go forward we must see improvements in our election process.”
Broward Supervisor of Elections Dr. Brenda Snipes said they worked efficiently, even though Broward was one of the last counties to report totals to Tallahassee.
“It’s better to move slowly and have information accurate than it is just to throw caution to the wind and say, ‘We’re done. See ya.’,” Snipes said.
The Broward Canvassing Board met Saturday to review ballots.
Some local races will require recounts, like the one for the Dania Beach city commission.
Just 16 votes separate two candidates.
“I’m happy with the fact that they’re being so thorough,” candidate Chickie Brandimarte. “They have a hard job in there.”
Palm Beach County finished counting absentee ballots late Friday night.
Its northern neighbor, St. Lucie County, announced a partial recount in the hotly contested race between Republican Congressman Allen West and Democrat Patrick Murphy.
West has refused to concede, even though he trails by more than 2000 votes.
“This is the action we were seeking to ensure the results of this election were fair and accurate,” West said in a statement regarding the recount.
Elections officials across the state have until November 16th to tally up and report overseas and military ballots.