The US is chaired by a man who has described the process of counting the votes in Florida established by law as “robbery” and “fraud” and also raises doubts in Arizona.
When you have a president like Donald Trump with a natural tendency to lie, it is normal for the mud machine to spread it over all areas of public life. When part of a party in which the slightest dissidence has been marked with name and surname from the Roosevelt room of the White House, is normal to be followed the game, either by survival or tuning. It does not matter that a false statement (or, to be more polite, without evidence to support it) jeopardize the credibility of the electoral system by calling into question procedures regulated by law. Everything serves to discredit the possible (although improbable) overturn of a victory held in advance and to mud a little more to the United States giving rise to conspiracy theories that undermine the democratic system.
After a week of the mid-term elections on November 6, there are still no definitive results and the tight votes that have prevented proclaiming a winner in positions as important as those of the governor of Georgia and Florida or the position of senator in this last state. In general terms, the portrait will not vary: the Democrats have taken over the House of Representatives while the Republicans maintain the Senate. To the practical importance (a governor has wide powers at the state level or more seats in the Senate imply for the republicans to approve with more calm appointments of the president), the symbolic is added to him.
At a time of so much tension in the country, with the Democrats beginning to build their strategy for the presidential 2020 , get a key state to determine president as Florida or win, as happened on Monday with Kyrsten Sinema, the first seat by Arizona in the Senate since 1988, allows to raise the level of a democratic wave that has gained strength with the passage of days, the scrutiny of votes and the more detailed analysis of the results .
Above the symbolic and the practical is the legal. The US is chaired by a man who has described the process of counting the votes in Florida established by law as “theft” and “fraud” , which determines that if one candidate leads another by less than 0.5% of votes has to proceed to an automatic recount. If after this the distance is below 0.25%, then a manual one (although partial) is initiated. In that first phase they are in Florida after the provisional recount gave the Republican candidate to the Senate, Rick Scott, an advantage of 56,000 votes on the night of the elections, which was reduced to less than 13,000 over the days. The reduction encouraged Scott to ensure that his adversary “Senator [Bill] Nelson is trying to commit fraud to win.”
On what does Rick Scott, still governor of Florida, rely to issue an accusatory judgment of such caliber? The response he gave on Fox News was to point to two Florida counties, Democratic trend, where “appeared 93,000 votes after the election night .” Scott sowed the suspicion on his origin, omitting that the law of Florida allows that the votes continue recounting until the Saturday after the elections or that the electoral night they were in addition to recount the votes of the foreigner and the military .
The Republican Party has set its sights particularly on the counties of Palm Beach and especially Broward (it has deserved at least 7 Trump tweets), where they have appointed the electoral supervisor Brenda Snipes, from whom they have asked that she be removed from her post. Snipes was named in 2003 by then-Governor Jeb Bush and has been re-elected to the position up to four times. Ironically, it was the power of Rick Scott to get rid of it, especially given that the electoral office run by Snipes had committed various irregularities during several of the electoral processes coinciding with the two terms of Scott as governor of Florida. In spite of all the noise and fury, and that the State Department sent reinforcement personnel to oversee the process in this county during last week’s elections, until today there have been no demands for electoral fraudbefore the competent bodies and the Secretary of State has informed that they have not found evidence to support it.
Irregularities yes, but no evidence of fraud
Far from fraud, several small irregularities have been detected in this county . For example, 22 ballots that had been rejected were mixed with 180 valid votes. And on election night, the Snipes office violated Florida law by not updating the results every 45 minutes or by closing it at two-thirty in the morning so that the workers would take a breath before completing the count to which they are required (except for provisional ballots and those from abroad). In Palm Beach County, the duplicate by hand of damaged (legal) ballots was detected without the corresponding supervision (illegal). Reportable irregularities that are far from assuming electoral fraud, as insisted not only by the candidate Rick Scott but the president of the United States or the other Republican senator from Florida, Marco Rubio .
Rubio was one of the first to enter the rag of the very diverse conspiracy theories that have been disseminated by the networks in the days after the elections and that he and other members of the Republican Party have amplified through social networks, in his television interventions and through advertising campaigns. Rick Scott, who blames the “Liberals” for “fraud”, even requested that the ballots and voting machines in Broward County be confiscated. Judge Jack Tuter denied the petition last Monday, warned about the consequences for the country of this type of accusations about an electoral process and advised those who have evidence of fraud to present them to law enforcement officers. On the other hand, the democrats demand to Scott that recuse of the supervision of the count when being interested part.
By contrast, the tone surrounding the resolution of the governor’s election in Florida seems civilized. The Democrat Andrew Gillum withdrew his concession of the victory to the republican Ron DeSantis after it was known that the distance between both was also below the 0’5% that forces to count . In this case, DeSantis leads Gillum by almost 34,000 votes. A mattress that perhaps allowed a relaxed “thanks” to the officials in charge of supervising the elections.
Through Twitter, President Donald Trump has spent days stirring up the specter of electoral fraud after an election whose results he sold as “almost a complete victory , ” when for the Republican Party the loss of at least 32 seats in the House of Representatives has been Representatives and 6 positions of governor. Road to Paris, he even tweeted about “corruption” in Arizona’s elections. The Republican candidate, Martha McSally, on the other hand, wished “success” to her Democratic opponent by admitting her defeat.
The situation in Florida arouses very painful memories for the Democratic Party . In 2000, Al Gore lost the presidential election to George W. Bush for a handful of votes in this state after weeks of allegations of fraud and irregularities and a recount interrupted by the Supreme Court when Bush barely edged Gore for something more of 300 votes. Regardless of the relevance of that moment compared to the current one, and taking into account that Florida decides presidents of one and another color by very narrow margin, the reaction of Donald Trump (and the Republican Party) suggests a disturbing question: Would it be able the president to democratically accept an electoral defeat in 2020 ?