A federal judge reportedly blasted Florida as the “laughingstock of the world” on Thursday after state officials have repeatedly failed to anticipate problems in elections.
“We have been the laughingstock of the world, election after election, and we chose not to fix this,” U.S. District Judge Mark Walker said in court, according to The Associated Press.
Walker also reportedly criticized state lawmakers and Palm Beach County officials for not ensuring they had sufficient equipment for the ongoing recounts. The judge had ordered earlier Thursday that Florida voters whose signatures disqualified their mail-in and provisional ballots in last week’s midterm election must be given until Saturday afternoon to fix them.
His remarks arrive as all of Florida’s 67 counties are working to meet a 3 p.m. Thursday deadline for machine recounts.
Several Florida counties have come under fire throughout the recount process, mainly from President TrumpDonald TrumpJan. 6 panel plans to subpoena Trump lawyer who advised on how to overturn election Texans chairman apologizes for 'China virus' remark Biden invokes Trump in bid to boost McAuliffe ahead of Election Day MORE and other Republicans, for their handling of votes — specifically Broward County and Palm Beach County.
On Wednesday, Trump became the latest Republican to call for the removal of Broward's supervisor of elections, Brenda Snipes, whose office has long been plagued by counting issues in the years leading up to the 2018 midterm elections.
Broward County reported it finished its machine recount in the three statewide races late Wednesday, but officials in Palm Beach County have suggested they might not meet the deadline.
Palm Beach’s supervisor of elections, Susan Bucher, said she believed they would make the deadline in the Senate race earlier this week. But due to machine mishaps, Bucher said the county is "in prayer mode to finish on time.”