Is it just us, or has anyone else noticed that the more the state does to make it easier to vote, the harder it has become to count those votes?
As this was written, the recount of several key statewide races, including governor and U.S. senator, was still proceeding. It was moving forward by fits and starts but going ahead nonetheless. In the meantime, partisan legal battles have erupted and once again Florida is being branded the state that can’t vote straight.
Perhaps the most emblematic moment of the post-Nov. 6, 2018, electoral saga came when the recount in Palm Beach County had to be cut off in mid-stream because the aging tabulating equipment in use in one of the state’s wealthiest counties overheated. We’ve spent decades watching government agencies such as the Federal Aviation Administration and the Department of Veterans Affairs spend millions and billions of dollars trying to upgrade trailing edge technology and still not achieve their goals. So, overheating 10-year-old vote-counting equipment is par for the course. Or maybe more accurately a double bogie.
Ever since the 2000 Bush-Gore presidential race apocalypse, Florida has gone from the punch-card balloting systems that produce the infamous hanging chads, to touch-screen technology, which turned out to be worrisome regarding security, to the current set-up, optical scanning of ballots filled out by blackening inside circles. For all that, seemingly nothing has been accomplished, if the goal is, as it should be, to get the vote tallied in a timely, accurate and secure fashion.
The result of all this is that people, on the left and the right, are becoming increasingly cynical and suspicious of how our elections are conducted. We count that a bad thing.