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Dems say Obama has won Florida, blame Scott for count delay

Posted Nov 8, 2012 by William March

Updated Nov 8, 2012 at 06:42 PM

The Florida Democratic Party has declared that President Barack Obama won Florida, even though some absentee and provisional ballots remain to be counted, and blames the “embarrassing delay” in counting the votes on Gov. Rick Scott’s refusal to extend early voting.

“On behalf of Florida Democrats, I wish President Barack Obama congratulations on his re-election and on winning Florida’s 29 electoral vote,” state Democratic Party Chairman Rod Smith said in a news release today.

“It is appalling that two days after the election, Florida was not able to report our Presidential election results.  This embarrassment lays at the feet of Governor Rick Scott who made a decision to cut early voting in half and continually refused to extend early voting hours in light of the record turnout,”
he said.

The latest vote count from the state Division of Elections gives Obama 4,185,616 votes, or 49.92 percent, to Romney’s 4,127,520, or 49.22 percent. That margin is slightly beyond the threshhold that triggers an automatic recount under state law, half a point.

According to the Division of Elections web site, the largest chunks of uncounted votes remaining are absentee votes from Palm Beach and Broward counties, both heavily Democratic, and from Duval, which favored Romney by a margin of about 5 percent, plus provisional ballots. That suggests Obama’s lead will get larger rather than smaller as the count is completed.

During the early voting period, Democrats urged Scott to extend early voting in the face of long lines of up to six hours at some polling places in Southeast Florida, and an hour or more in other parts of the state including Hillsborough County.

Secretary of State Ken Detzner, a Scott appointee, responded that the law setting early voting times and hours says the times can’t be extended except in case of an emergency.

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