Sen. Matt Gaetz: “It’s a banana republic down here”

Sen. Matt Gaetz: “It’s a banana republic down here” – from ZeroHedge

The first recounts in Florida’s contested elections began Sunday morning in two large Tampa Bay counties, after the secretary of state ordered reviews of two nationally watched contests, reports AP.

Miami-Dade County election officials began feeding ballots into scanning machines Saturday evening. The tedious work in that one South Florida county alone could take days, considering some 800,000 ballots were cast. Multiply that by 67 counties in the nation’s third-most populous state, and the scope of the task was beginning to sink in Sunday. –AP

Neighboring Broward County’s recount was delayed Sunday due to a technical issue with one of the tabulation machines, while Palm Beach County supervisor of elections, Susan Bucher, says she doesn’t think her department can meet a Thursday deadline to hand over duplicated ballots sought by Gov. Rick Scott’s Senate campaign.

Susan Bucher (right)

Circuit Court Judge Krista Marx said Bucher should have submitted improperly completed ballots to the county’s Canvassing Board, instead of allowing her staff to make decisions on voter intent and fill out duplicate ballots to feed through machines.

“Everything I have says the Canvassing Board must make the determination not your staff members. … The language is unambiguous that it is for the canvassing board to make the determination,” Marx said. –SunSentinel

The Florida secretary of state ordered the recounts Saturday, “an unprecedented step for the two flagship races in a state that took five weeks to decide the 2000 presidential election,” according to AP.

Florida’s counties have until 3 p.m. Thursday to complete their recounts.

According to unofficial results, Republican former US Rep. Ron DeSantis was 0.5 percentage points ahead of Democratic Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum – who withdrew his concession in the Florida gubernatorial race.

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