Decision 2020

Race for Broward County Elections Supervisor Could Cause a Recount

NBC Universal, Inc.

Large moving trucks used to carry ballots still sit outside the Lauderhill Hall where the Broward County Supervisor of Elections collect and count the votes. A recount in at least one race is almost guaranteed.

The winner will be the new leader of the organization currently counting the votes. 

Unlike Miami-Dade County where the Supervisor of Elections is appointed, in Broward County, the voters decide the post in an election. Since Broward County is so heavily Democratic, whoever wins the Democratic primary will likely win the spot. 

Out of more than 207,000 votes in the race for Supervisor of Elections, Joe Scott currently leads Chad Klitzman by 607 votes. The small margin between first and second caused the canvassing board to meet and they will likely begin a machine recount per Florida law.

Per state law, if the margin between the winner and second is less than half a percent, then an automatic machine recount is triggered. If the margin is less than one-fourth of a percent after that, a partial hand recount goes through contested ballots. 

“When the margins are this close, a recount enables the public to have added confidence in the results. It is critical every vote is counted accurately,” said candidate Chad Klitzman. 

A call for comment to Joe Scott’s campaign by NBC 6 was not yet returned. 

“The analysis at this point is it’s point three, so we’re very close to potentially needing a hand recount, depending on what the machine recount tells us,” said county judge Dan Kanner, who sits on the canvassing board. “It ensures the accuracy of the vote. The integrity of the voting process and that of course we all know, is the most important thing."

Political science professor Sean Foreman, from Barry University, says this is the latest chapter in a lengthy book in the Broward County Supervisors of Elections after the last two left in controversy and the governor appointed the current one, Peter Antonacci. 

“The recount itself is going to be dramatic because I think they have to count the last absentee votes that came in election day,” said Foreman. “It’s probably not going to get that second place person to first, but it’s important to go through this person to find out what the actual vote count is.” 

All of this has to happen before Sunday afternoon. So it will be a hectic weekend in Lauderhill. 

“It’s an elected position. So you don’t have to have any experience working with elections, any management experience, political experience. As long as the voters select you. It’s a democratic process but it is a little bit odd to be selecting someone through a partisan election, to count the votes,” said Foreman.

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