Democrats screw something up, so it must be Ron DeSantis’ fault.
There is no shortage of media distemper in Florida towards Governor Ron DeSantis, and the South Florida papers are especially aggressive. While possibly less rabid than the Miami Herald, its sister publication The Sun-Sentinel is frequently barking along with them. The latest sees the editorial staff resorting to knee-jerk outrage in an op-ed, while it is obviously well off the mark.
At issue is a special election recently held for a congressional seat, and the result has been somewhat controversial. In what was one of the closest elections in state history, Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick came out ahead of former commissioner Dale Holness for the 20th congressional district nomination in Broward County. While Holness is a bit of a controversial figure himself, what is at issue is the razor-thin result, and the reality of some outstanding ballots not being delivered.
This could be seen as a problem that underscores the issues that have been mentioned with mail-in voting, something the Democrats and the press have been enthusiastically in favor of making permanent. McCormick took the nomination by only five votes. What is at issue is that it was discovered that hundreds of mail-in ballots had remained undelivered at a regional mail facility. The Sun-Sentinel editorial board wrote:
Those 286 ballots did not reach the Broward elections office by 7 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 2, as state law requires, even though every one was postmarked by Nov. 1 or earlier. Because Holness led the 11-candidate field in Broward with nearly 30% of the vote, the odds are high that he lost a seat in Congress not at the polls, but in a back room of a mail sorting center in Opa-locka in Northwest Miami-Dade County, and that makes no sense whatsoever.
There has been little explanation from the local postal service authorities as to how this happened, and the elections officials in Broward say they had been stymied in the attempt to go to the postal location and get some answers as to how this played out. There are plenty of questions regarding this that need answering, but in its zeal to find a villain the Sun-Sentinel editorial board is not looking locally – they cast the blame about 450 miles away, in Tallahassee. The Sun-Sentinel continued:
DeSantis’ chief elections officer, Secretary of State Laurel Lee, should demand a complete report on the lost ballots from the Postal Service, but mostly all we hear on this subject from Tallahassee is silence. That’s because Republicans don’t really want every vote to count.
This comment evokes many reactions; laughter, confusion, eye-rolling, and more. The editors resort to the old trope of Republicans wanting to restrict voting rights, a tired cliche that often gets spoken while insisting voter integrity is always of the highest quality. Add to this the perpetual bile in the throats of journalists that DeSantis inspires, and the desire to blame him is nearly automatic.
The problem: the facts. This election was between Democrat candidates. The Broward County Supervisor of Elections is a Democrat. To suggest DeSantis has a vested interest in this particular election is laughable, and to focus on him over the local officials who operated the election is sheer denial, and to try casting blame on the Capital instead of the postal service is the nadir of ridiculousness.
This is the state of some of the local media. Whenever a problem can be spotted, their preferred demon of DeSantis is just a default move. The embarrassment here is this cannot be passed off on a biased reporter; this editorial came from the paper’s board, and thus reveals the bias in this local news organ. It also reveals yet another entry on the growing list of media hits on DeSantis that have failed to land.