It might be a slender reed to grasp, but perhaps one saving grace from the 2018 General Election voting meltdown is that one person elected to take personal responsibility for the latest vote-counting debacle. After finally finishing badly behind schedule voting recounts, Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes handed in her resignation. Snipes, a Democrat, had been supervisor of elections in heavily Democratic Broward County for 15 years, a tenure marked by all manner of misfeasance and incompetence. The voters of Broward returned her to office anyway, so it fell to Snipes to do the right thing. For that, at least, she deserves credit.
All the vote-tallying controversy notwithstanding, the 2018 election did little to alter the Florida political landscape and balance of power. The executive and legislative branches of state government remain in Republican hands. One day, shifting demographics may return the Democrats to the lock grip they held on Florida state government for 120 years following the Civil War, but 2018 wasn’t the year for that. After all the votes were counted, there is still only one Democrat holding a statewide elected office. Now, however, it isn’t longtime U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson. The recount in the Senate race failed to snatch victory from the hands of Republican Rick Scott, as many had hoped it would.
So, the face of the Democratic Party in Florida, at least for the moment, is Nikki Fried, who defeated Republican Matt Caldwell and will be commissioner of agriculture starting in January. The Fried-Caldwell race was another contest settled after a recount. Caldwell still questioned the accuracy of the vote count but had the good grace to conceded anyway. So, maybe he deserves a pat on the back, too.