Elections likely key issue in 2019 session

Published: Nov. 20, 2018 at 4:53 PM EST
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By: Mike Vasilinda | Capitol News Service

November 20, 2018

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CNS) -- The November 6 election results are now official. Vote totals certified on Tuesday show Republicans sweeping all statewide offices with the exception of Democratic Nikki Fried being the first woman ever elected Agriculture Commissioner.

After the court drama of the last two weeks, calls for election reform continue.

Despite two weeks of election uneasiness, it took the State Elections Canvassing Commission just five minutes to certify the November 6 results.

State Senator Rob Bradley filled in for Governor Rick Scott, who recused himself from the ministerial duty.

“First of all, I’m 100 percent confident that the results that we just certified reflect the will of the voter," said Bradley.

As lawmakers organized as they do after each election five floors up, Governor-Elect Ron DeSantis got standing ovations in the House and Senate

The consensus of many in the legislature is that the problems in the election were isolated to just two counties.

Both the House Speaker and Senate President say that what went wrong on November 6 will get a thorough review.

“The bottom line is we need to make sure people can trust their electoral process, and in this case, it was just two counties of all our counties, but two of them failed, and in doing so damaged that trust," said House Speaker Jose Oliva.

Agriculture Commissioner hopeful Matt Caldwell lost his statewide race by just 6,700 votes.

“Both sides, myself and Miss Fried, deserve a straight answer, it doesn't look like we’re ever going to get that from Broward and Palm Beach. They failed in this instance and I think the legislature needs to be prepared to prevent that from happening in two years," said Caldwell.

The certification opened a 10 day window for any voter to challenge the results.

Few in the Capitol believe the state should spend any money fixing voting machines, saying that is the responsibility of locally elected officials.

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