Tight ballots and extended ballots behind chronic complications in Florida

Tight ballots and extended ballots behind chronic complications in Florida

Washington – Several days spent counting the votes, drama in the results and laborious checks, bulletin by bulletin: why the elections in the United States sometimes give rise to such a floating, with in 2000 as this week, Florida at the forefront of the controversy?

– Is Donald Trump right to talk about "fraud"? –

In an avalanche of tweets and indignant remarks in front of the press, the Republican president denounced Friday a process "shameful"in Florida, shouting at the"fraud"in the elections of Tuesday to the posts of senator and governor, whose results have not yet been revealed.

He also discussed disputed polls in Arizona and Georgia, saying the Democrats were cheating.

The Florida governor, Rick Scott, who is also the Republican candidate for the senatorial position, also denounced a "rampant fraud"in the ballot against his Democratic opponent.

But no investigation for possible fraud was opened Friday afternoon, told AFP the Florida Police Department.

Rick Scott's statements are "arsonists"says Charles Barrilleaux, professor of political science at the University of Florida.

Their comments "are irresponsible"says David Lublin, a professor at American University.

"Republicans in Florida call for fraud because they know that a lot of votes this year have leaned heavily on the Democratic sideBut many have not yet been stripped.

On the other hand, all Republicans, independent experts and Democrats deplore that a county in Florida, the Democratic stronghold of Broward, did not even say how many ballots were still counting.

– Why so much time? –

Three days after the mid-term elections on November 6, several counties across the country have still not reported their results. A delay that challenges the world's leading power, cradle of many revolutionary technological advances.

"Americans vote on a lot of things", says David Lublin.

Their ballot papers, drawn up by each county, often presented Tuesday more than a dozen categories, from the position of senator to that of local sheriff, and ran over several pages.

"A lot of people vote by mail"This further slows down the counting process," says Lublin.

"Our elections are not organized by a centralized electoral authority"but by each of the 50 US states,"and their management actually rests with the local authorities", adds David Lublin.

– Why always Florida? –

Many have this week a sense of déjà vu. After the 2000 presidential election, this time it is to check the results for the important positions of senator and governor.

However, it is not his electoral system that is at fault, say the experts, but rather its status as pivotal state, where the two parties come very close in the polls.

"I do not think Florida is in the spotlight because of irregularities but because the elections are really tight", says Charles Barrilleaux.Every vote counts".

In other states where the duels are not played with the vote, the authorities are able to announce the result much earlier, even if newsletters are yet to be processed.

– Towards a "remake"from 2000? –

Will we see, as in 2000, election committee employees inspecting, magnifying by hand, one by one punched card ballot? No, says David Lublin.

"The good news is that since then the process has been improved".

The law now automatically orders a recount if the scores of two candidates are less than 0.5 points apart.

And unlike what happened in 2000, this time Florida has a deadline, November 18, to deliver a final result after possible automatic and manual counting.

Above all, these famous punched ballots no longer exist. Voters must now blacken boxes, which could leave room for some hesitation but not as much as the endless debates of the time around confetti still partially attached to the bulletin.


If the legal proceedings have already been launched on both sides, for David Lublin, "this time in Florida, we should not see the same bazaar as in 2000".

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