As Florida’s bitterly narrow race for U.S. Senate appears it will meet the threshold for a lengthy manual recount, all eyes in the state are turning — yet again — to Broward County. Numbers being reported from one of the state’s bluest bastions are raising questions about why so many fewer voters appeared to choose a candidate in the U.S. Senate race, Florida’s most nationally prominent office on this year’s ballot. As of Thursday evening, 676,706 votes had been counted in Broward in the U.S. Senate race, according to the Broward Supervisor of Elections website, overwhelmingly for Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson over Republican Rick Scott. But nearly every other statewide office garnered more votes in Broward than the Senate race, particularly the contest for governor, with 24,763 more voters — 701,469 in all — weighing in.
Meanwhile, the supervisor’s department is still counting both early and absentee votes — which have already been transmitted to the state by every other county in Florida save Palm Beach, which is still tallying absentee ballots.
Around noon Thursday, Broward Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes could not say how many votes had yet to be counted.
“Whatever is back there we have to finish it today,” she said, referring to a room next to the Broward Canvassing Board’s meeting where workers were feeding ballots into machines. “I don’t know if they’re all in the room but I know they’re all opened. Opening is a big task and getting them out of that envelope. But they’re all opened, I do know that … we’re finishing the count as we speak.”