While criticism has mounted against various states for their lassitude in reporting election results, the state of Florida has been lauded for its speed and efficiency in delivering the news of the results.
Some of the reasons Florida has promptly and swiftly calibrated the results of elections include election officials processing mail ballots three weeks before the election; as opposed to a state such as Pennsylvania which only permits counting those ballots on Election Day; the state having counted mail ballots for years, so the process is familiar; and domestic mail ballots in Florida having a deadline of 7 p.m. on Election Day with their disqualification if they arrive after that, as opposed to states where mail ballots can be considered legitimate if they are received up to a week after the election.
“The county canvassing board may begin the canvassing of vote-by-mail ballots at 7 a.m. on the 22nd day before the election, but not later than noon on the day following the election,” Florida law states. “In addition, for any county using electronic tabulating equipment, the processing of vote-by-mail ballots through such tabulating equipment may begin at 7 a.m. on the 22nd day before the election.”
“I think it’s a testament to the state’s performance that you see chaos unfolding in some of these other battleground states, where the votes may not be counted for days, where one state isn’t counting anything today, there just going to go back tomorrow; that people are actually looking at Florida and asking the question: ‘Why can’t these states be more like Florida?’” Florida GOP Governor Ron DeSantis stated after the November 2020 election.
“Florida was able to handle 11 million ballots, a combination of in-person early voting, vote-by mail, Election day, process then in a timely way, tabulate them and report them. And these other states had the opportunity to do that; they haven’t done it.”
“The way Florida did it, I think, inspires confidence; I think that’s how elections should be run; and I think that if it’s something that you want to do it that way, it requires you to take action; it requires you to put effort into it, but I think it’s worth it,” he stated.
“I would note that we’re one of the few states in the country where you can follow the number of people that are voting in real time. The mail votes that are received, the early votes, the Election Day vote; the rest of these states it’s kind of like a black hole,” he concluded.