Q&A – Should Florida Audit The 2020 Election Results?
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Today’s entry: @brianmuddradio Should Florida audit it’s 2020 election? What are the pro’s and con’s? In the wake of the Arizona audit, is this a question for Florida to ask? Because it seems to be the one everyone is avoiding. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
Bottom Line: Auditing Florida’s 2020 election results is a solution in search of a problem. On back of Arizona’s recently completed audit, which raised additional questions about potential issues like duplicate ballots, but ultimately didn’t change the outcome of any elections – there's been growing calls by many on the right to audit the election results of all states. There’s a time and place for election audits, however an uncontested election in which Republicans fared better than they’ve ever fared in our state, isn’t the time and Florida’s not the place for this type of action. At least not for the 2020 election. If you asked me after the 2018 midterm elections in which I aided in exposing the unlawful acts and corruption by Broward’s Brenda Snipes and Palm Beach County’s Susan Bucher, which led to their ousters, I’d have said yes. After all, Matt Caldwell was leading Nikki Fried for the Florida Agriculture Commissioner race the last time a vote was tabulated legally in Broward and Palm Beach Counties. But that was then. There are a few reasons it doesn’t make much sense to revisit 2020’s elections.
The only contested election in Florida last year was the Senate District 37 race in which Republican Ileana Garcia flipped a seat from Democrat Javier Rodriguez. An original 21 vote margin of victory grew to 34 votes after a recount. However, the most contentious aspect of the case was the investigation into a perceived straw candidate entered into the race to potentially confuse voters to vote for a non-party affiliated Alex Rodriguez on the ballot. While in the end the votes and election were verified and certified. The shenanigans behind the straw candidate led to an arrest and guilty plea. So, the only race called into question has been fully investigated and wasn’t, nor would be impacted by an audit. Next up the cost of an audit.
The recently completed Arizona audit came at a cost of $5.7 million. Florida’s three times the size of Arizona, that’s over $17 million which could be more constructively used doing just about anything else. Entering 2021 I repeatedly said its critical states take additional steps to sure up their elections against potential impropriety in the future. The reasons were two-fold, first to aid in protecting against potential voter fraud, and second to help restore confidence in elections. As I commonly discussed, citing Harvard’s Election Integrity Project, US election integrity was the worst in the developed world entering last year’s election cycle. We saw the implications on full display with questions which remain about outcomes in multiple states in addition to the severe undermining of confidence in our systems by wide swaths of Americans. None of which is good for the Republic. In Florida, we heeded the call and passed additional election integrity measures. That was the constructive course of action and best use of time and resources as opposed to a lengthy, costly and time-consuming audit for the heck of it. In other words, even in the event there may be concerns raised by an audit in Florida, the state’s already taken measures to address them. And that leads me to my final point. The opportunity cost of our time.
If you’re actively engaged and concerned about election integrity in Florida going forward, the best use of your time on the subject is to get engaged. You can do it sooner than later. Become a poll worker. Become a poll watcher. There’s always a need and the sooner you get engaged the more prepared you’ll be for future elections and future cycles. It should be a goal to have good oversight at every polling location throughout our state. Given Broward and Palm Beach County’s historic issues, they should specifically be priorities. That type of engagement is what’s most useful, much more so than an audit would be.