While most states have long finished their vote counting outside of the normal processing of absentee ballots, states like Colorado and Arizona are in the midst of “curing” periods that have prolonged election day into what now feels like election month.
Maricopa County took center stage this cycle after needing over a week to count its ballots. All of Nevada’s major races were finally called by the weekend, but things were a cluster there as well. Of course, California is technically the worst but tends to get more of a pass because it’s not a toss-up state. Still, the call on who won the House of Representatives wasn’t made until a full week after election day because of a slate of districts in California, most of which still currently have results outstanding.
This is not how a trustworthy, viable election system is supposed to work, and no one knows that better than Gov. Ron DeSantis. He slammed states that can’t seem to count their ballots, contrasting them with Florida’s stellar election system.
Ron DeSantis goes off on slow vote counting in states:
"The Monday before the election we could declare a state of emergency for Nicole, conduct an election, count like 7.7 million votes by midnight…these other states are still counting their votes." pic.twitter.com/dJKKTeXInq
— TheBlaze (@theblaze) November 16, 2022
Florida was able to count and report nearly every single vote on the night of the election. And when I say “night of the election,” I don’t even mean 5:00 AM the next morning. I mean that they were literally able to count and report almost everything before midnight. That despite Florida being a heavily populated state with over seven million ballots cast in the last election.
What makes Florida’s system so great? Let’s start with the fact that it actually makes sense. There is a hard deadline for the reception of mail-in ballots, and counting of those ballots begins before election day. That means they don’t wait around for a week, allowing “postmarked” ballots to be counted multiple days after the polls have officially closed.
They also don’t have a ridiculous “curing” period, a trend that strikes me as absolutely insane. Think about it. Not only are people being allowed to “fix” their ballots many days after election day so they can be counted, but the drive to get people to “cure” their ballots turns into a competition of who has the most money and organization on the ground. That’s not democracy. Instead, it’s essentially legalizing the buying of elections. Need to win a close race? Just pay your union buddies to push enough of your voters in a “curing campaign” until enough votes turn up.
These election laws must be changed for any trust in the system to remain, but they can’t be changed without gaining power. Unfortunately, that means having to play the game in the meantime. Still, DeSantis is right to mock these states. No one trusts them, and no one should trust them.