‘Oh, come on!’ Ballot counting machines break in Palm Beach County setting them back a day and a half

It appears Palm Beach County can’t catch a break following last week’s midterm elections.

With razor-thin margins in Florida’s top races last week, and with the county and its Supervisor of Elections, Susan Bucher, coming under fire amid recounts and questions about ballot integrity, it now appears that after one and a half days of tallying votes, the ballot counting machines have reportedly broken down.

Palm Beach County and neighboring Broward County have been the target of a lawsuit by Florida’s Republican Governor Rick Scott, who is still battling against Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson for the state’s senate seat. A judge ordered the county’s deadline to tally the votes extended for five days  while Bucher, a Democrat, announced that bad equipment would prevent her office from meeting the Thursday deadline.

The machines in Palm Beach County reportedly began to give incorrect tallies on Tuesday after overheating on Monday, according to WPBF. The machines were repaired and back up and running, but the early voting ballots had to be once more be re-counted.

“Ultimately we have to extract the early votes, reorganize those ballots and count them again,” Bucher said of the 175,000 ballots.

“We are disappointed by the mechanical problems that are going to cause a further delay in the recount,” she added, saying that since the early ballots originally took a day and a half to recount, to tally them again will probably take the same amount of time.

The re-count for the race between Nelson and Scott was originally expected to be ready by Tuesday night. Recounts still need to be done for the the state’s races for governor, agricultural commissioner, and a House district seat.

News of the broken machines – and the recount of the recounts – was met with the collective sound of heads crashing to desks on Twitter.

Frieda Powers


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