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LAUDERHILL (CBSMiami) – The ballot battle rolls on in Broward where election workers are racing against the clock to finish sorting the ballots and recounting all the votes before Thursday’s deadline.
Around 9:30 a.m., Joe D’Allesandro, the Election Planning and Development Director, said they will begin the recount of Early Voting ballots.
“We would like to begin tabulation of those Early Voting ballots, or, should I say, the recount of those Early Voting ballots,” he said.
The Election canvassing board approved starting the recount.
Judge Betsy Benson, Canvassing Board Chair says four representatives from each party will be present.
“Some will be watching the sorting and some watching the cage,” she said.
As of Tuesday evening Broward was still sorting mail-in ballots, separating the top page with the key races that are close: The US Senate race between Democrat Incumbent Bill Nelson and Governor Rick Scott, The Governor’s contest between republican Ron DeSantis and Democrat Andrew Gillum and the commissioner of agriculture contest.
In an effort to meet the looming deadline, the day shift workers are in charge of recounting. The night shift workers are in charge of sorting ballots.
Late Tuesday night, Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes spoke about people placing her home address and phone number online.
“To misuse personal information to make their families uncomfortable, it kind of throws me back,” Snipes said.
A spokesperson for Facebook says the social media giant has removed multiple posts or pages. The spokesperson says they will continue removing those posts if they find them.
The Broward Sheriff’s Office says it is also monitoring social media.
Also on CNN Tuesday night, Snipes was asked about meeting public records deadlines, especially for Governor Rick Scott’s senate campaign.
“I believe the public records request is in a timely manner and we try to balance everything and we’re finishing up a big election for the midterm, so we are trying to get everything complete.”
Speaking earlier in the day, Snipes emphasized they would be finished by Thursday.
“We’ve never missed a deadline,” she said.
If counties aren’t done with their recounts by the 3 p.m. Thursday deadline, their unofficial original results will stand. Of course, there could be lawsuits about that.
If that timeline is not altered, results for races that need hand recounts are due on November 18th. Currently, the Senate and Agriculture Commissioner races are close enough that they will need a manual recount.
State law requires a recount when candidates are within one-half point when all the votes are counted. If it reaches .5 percent, it automatically triggers a statewide machine recount. If it goes within .25, it triggers a manual recount.
Snipes also addressed a tweet from former Governor Jeb Bush which called for her removal from office.
“It’s an opinion. He feels I should be removed. He did place me here for a year, and I liked it, so I ran again and was elected four times,” she said. “But it is time to move on and let someone else— maybe one of you guys out there, you’re all steeped in election business — but I think I have served the purpose I came here for, which was to provide a credible election product to our voters.”
When asked if that means she will not be running again, Dr. Snipes was vague, saying she would have to finalize that and needs to check with her family.
There’s been an erosion of faith in the process in Broward, including accusations of fraud and other inappropriate behavior.
Without evidence, President Donald Trump and Governor Rick Scott, who is in a close race against incumbent Bill Nelson for a Senate seat, have claimed election fraud. Scott even sued Snipes over the handling of the election.
Senator Nelson wants Scott to recuse himself from the recount process.
Snipes admits there have been problems.
“There have been issues that did not go the way we wanted. So, we can call it a mistake. We can call it whatever we want,” she said.
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s office and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement released a joint statement which read in part:
“We are actively engaged in monitoring processes for potential criminal activity. There are procedures in place to address fraud or other criminal misconduct associated with any election in Florida.”
Bondi’s office and the FDLE say they are watching closely to make sure everything goes properly.