Rick Scott Is Governor Again Because Broward County Didn't Show Up to the Polls
Photo by MrX via Wikipedia Commons
Rick Scott was able to win his reelection bid by 1 percentage point. Amendment 2 fell short by 3 percentage points. As predicted for months, the midterm election races in Florida ended up razor-thin close in the end. And thanks to lower-than-average turnout in Broward County, those races were ultimately decided.
The statewide average of turnout is around the 50 percent mark. Broward, the most densely Democratic county in the state, came well below that average, with just a 43 percent turnout.
Miami-Dade was even lower at 39 percent.
While Charlie Crist and Amendment 2 actually won Broward County, it was the turnout that most likely did the two biggest races in.
In 2010, Broward County turnout was less than 41 percent. The winner for governor that year? One Rick Scott.
Things began as ominously in Broward County as they ended Tuesday night, with reports of technical issues and confusion at some precincts. In response to these reports, the Crist campaign filed an emergency motion to keep polls open across the county. Citing "several individual and systemic breakdowns that made it difficult for voters to cast regular ballots," the campaign asked for polls to remain open until 9 p.m.
But the judge shot down the motion, citing the timing of the request. Polls closed at 7 p.m. as scheduled.
Still, there were a few who reportedly went to polling places and ended up not voting because of a sudden change in registration location.
Another voter complained about her son not being able to vote because the polling area notified him that he had already voted after swiping his driver's license. The woman and her family had to scramble to get provisional ballots.
Broward Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes met with the media after the judge's ruling Tuesday night and said that no Broward County voter was turned away at any of the polls. Even with electrical problems at one precinct, voters were still able to cast their ballots and have their vote counted, she said.
Yet turnout remains the key here.
Overall, of the 1,067,083 registered voters in Broward County, 43 percent turnout is appallingly low. Whether this had to do with voter indifference or not remains the question.
Still, Broward did have a record number of absentee voters turn in ballots, though about 838 of them had to be dismissed because of a lack of a signature.
Just as it was in 2010, when Alex Sink could have easily won the election over Scott had Broward voters just gotten to the polls, we could be talking about Charlie Crist as the new governor.
Maybe it's a lack of putting great candidates out there. Sink was considered a bit vanilla, and Crist has had his issues as a flip-flopper.
But when you consider that Scott -- arguably one of the worst governors in the entire country -- is now a two-term governor, the fault lies in people just not giving a crap.
And Broward County is leading the way.
For what it's worth, Palm Beach County turnout was 49 percent -- below the average, but not as bad as its neighboring counties to the south.
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