Everybody, be cool.
Now that might be a little hard, considering all the baggage that comes with Broward County and elections, but let's for a moment -- just a moment -- think rationally. By the end of yesterday, the county Supervisor of Elections had tabulated all of the 1,000 heretofore-unaccounted ballots and added them to the county's turnout.
It would be great, however, to know what the results of those ballots are. Spokesperson Evelyn Perez-Verdia said she didn't know what they were and directed us to their website, an utterly convoluted mess of blinking colors, tabs, and endless, unhelpful numbers. At first, we couldn't discern what had changed -- where were the missing 1,000 ballots? What had changed?
Then, we realized it: Nothing had. Yes, the 1,000 votes had been added, but the overall results of the 2012 election didn't shift one iota either way. Obama still flexed with 67 percent of the Broward electorate, while Willard wilted with only 32 percent. The numbers stayed exactly the same.
Then, we realized something else. Everyone needs to chill.
The Broward County Supervisors of Election has taken a lot heat recently, much of it deserved -- check back tomorrow for that story! -- but this one perhaps doesn't warrant the third-degree.
Things have gotten so stressful, Perez-Verdia said, she had to literally call the Florida Division of Elections the other day and inform them that Broward wasn't breaking the law. The specter of past screw-ups lingers over much of their work, and people always have questions.
"We called them because it seems that some people don't understand our process," she said.
Ah, yes. Their process. The one, she must mean, that forces people to wait six hours in a line to vote, then wrangle with a form that looks more bar exam than ballot. Who wouldn't understand that process?
But that's besides the point right now. Right now, the important thing is that the final votes are in after some volunteer found them, incredibly, in a warehouse where their voting equipment was kept. Since, no other unaccounted-for ballots have turned up, Perez-Verdia said.
"I would not use the word missing," she added. "They weren't lost; they were in our possession, but they weren't where they were supposed to be. They were creatively put somewhere else."
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