Number of Broward County ballots left to be counted remains unknown

LAUDERHILL, FLA. (WSVN) - All eyes are on Broward County while a recount of votes for the Florida Senate race remains a possibility.

7News was outside the office of the Broward County Supervisor of Elections in Lauderhill when two officials from the Democratic Party walked in, Thursday.

Inside the office, volunteers continued to count thousands of mail-in ballots.

“Sometimes it takes a little extra time to make sure that we get the outcome that voters intended,” said U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla.

Broward voters could prove instrumental in the outcome of the hotly contested U.S. Senate race pitting Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson against Florida Gov. Rick Scott, as the Republican candidate’s wafer-thin lead narrows.

“We have eight high-speed counters in there,” said Broward’s supervisor of elections, Dr. Brenda Snipes, “and I’m told they can do 23,000 sheets per hour.”

Meanwhile, voters lined up outside Snipes’ office said their votes had not been counted.

“This is really important for us,” said voter Deanna Christensen. “This is really important for all of us.”

Discrepancies in the number of votes are now taking center stage. In Broward, more than 24,000 people voted for governor than in the Senate race.

Some say it was placement on the ballot that may have caused the disparity. Nelson’s attorneys said there could also be problems with the machines.

“There are always under-votes. Sometimes there are far more in some instances than in others,” said Snipes.

However, lawyers representing Nelson do not agree. They showed up to the canvassing board, along with attorneys with Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum, to look over each vote that had not been accepted.

7News heard information about a large number of ballots found at a local post office that were not mailed in.

Snipes did not specify when they are going to stop counting ballots or how many are left to count.

The entire ordeal is reminiscent of the 2000 general election where a recount made hanging chads a household name.

“It has been a little while since we all went through this, but we know that Broward County is where the votes are,” said Deutch.

Over in Miramar, a teacher came across a box labeled “PROVISIONAL BALLOT BOX” at Sunshine Elementary. However, it’s unclear if there were any actual ballots inside.

The teacher reached out to her local representative, who then contacted Snipes for more information.

Meanwhile, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio took to Twitter to comment on the matter, calling the ongoing process in Broward a “violation of #Florida law.”

Snipes denied Rubio’s claim of incompetence.

“We ran 22 sites, we ran 14 days, we ran 12 hours, we had a big vote by mail,” she said, “so don’t try to turn it around and seem like I’m making comedy out of this.”

Snipes also said she does not believe there were any issues with the calibration of the machines, stating that they’re brand-new and not even a year old.

Meanwhile, volunteers at the Miami-Dade Elections Supervisor office continued to examine provisional ballots. They are expected to look at more than 1,000 ballots.

The remaining ballots need to be counted by the 12 p.m. deadline on Friday before a recount process is started. Official results out of Broward County are expected by Saturday.

If the recount were to take place, it is expected to occur sometime between Nov. 13 through the 20.

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