NY fitfully counts absentee ballots amid legal challenge in Florida
As late as Tuesday afternoon, the Florida secretary of state’s office was still accepting absentee ballots. On Wednesday, its website stopped working.
The lack of official information prompted voters worried they would not receive final results to wait anxiously outside Broward and Palm Beach County’s polling locations or to resort to using the Internet.
The lack of information from the state on the state’s website was one of the reasons Florida’s secretary of state, Ken Detzner, asked voters to call by phone.
“I’m still worried where the ballots are going to end up,” said Amanda Stokes, a resident of Davie, south of Miami. “I thought that the website would be the most up-to-date, and to be honest, it’s not.”
The controversy surrounding absentee voting has grown to include Florida officials who are seeking to delay the counting of absentee ballots after Tuesday’s votes were cast, and a federal judge who has refused to approve plans that would force voters to cast ballots in person.
The issue has led to a legal fight between voting-rights advocates and state and county officials, who have sued over procedures being used to count absentee ballots and seek recounts.
The lawsuit by the Florida Department of State vs. the state does not address the issue of counting absentee ballots. Instead, it contends the state can take no action without approval from a judge.
There is another issue that could be relevant to the counting of absentee ballots. In the past, counties have been in charge of mail-in ballot distribution, and as a result, the state has sometimes sent absentee returns to those counties.
When that happens, voters in Palm Beach County had been using the Palm Beach County board’s website to cast votes; however that site was unavailable Tuesday evening and has been unavailable since.
If the state has sent the absentee ballot returns to Palm Beach