Election officials in Palm Beach County, Florida, have failed to meet a 3 p.m. ET deadline after machines stopped working.
Palm Beach Elections Supervisor Susan Bucher said, “The reality is that we were very close two nights ago and then our machines went down … It’s not for lack of human effort,” according to Fox News on Nov. 15.
As a result, numbers from the initial count, which were completed on Saturday, will stand, the Fox report said.
Susan Bucher says they did not meet Senate recount deadline. She says it was a “heroic effort,” and might have completed it within a few hours. pic.twitter.com/LuuUzYPf78
— Ali Schmitz (@SchmitzMedia) November 15, 2018
The machines went idle on Wednesday night because the technical manager had been working for 42 hours straight, she said.
“You see that we’re working 24/7,” she told Fox. “It’s an unusual request to make of your staff. You know, can you leave your kids behind? Can you stay here and I’ll feed you sub sandwiches and pizza? And you’ll work your brains out and we’re trying to meet a deadline that, really, reasonably shouldn’t be there.”
Some have called on Bucher to step down amid the recount chaos.
“This is our democracy and I am here to count every vote and I will take the time that’s required and you can see I haven’t been home for three days,” she explained. “I don’t think you’re going to find somebody else that has the dedication.”
“But the fact of the matter is that I inherited this old equipment,” Bucher told Local10. “We’re trying to buy new equipment. I needed to comply with the law and when it does, I’ll buy it.”
Bucher told NBC News that there was an overheating issue with their out-of-date equipment.
But Secretary of State Ken Detzner said that if counties fail the 3 p.m. deadline, they should keep going so that final tallies can be added to the official results. District Judge Mark Walker rejected a motion by Sen. Bill Nelson’s team to get additional time in Palm Beach County.
The recounts are for the state’s Senate seat, which pits Nelson, a Democrat, against Republican Gov. Rick Scott. Democrat Andrew Gillum and Republican Ron DeSantis are vying for the governor’s seat.
The recount was started on Saturday. Big counties like Miami-Dade and Broward finished their machine recounts ahead of the 3 p.m. deadline.
“This is a case about the precious and fundamental right to vote … the right preservative of all other rights. And it is about the right of a voter to have his or her own vote counted,” Walker wrote.
Florida’s election results are to be certified by Tuesday, Nov. 20, or two weeks after the midterm elections were held.
Before the recount, Scott was leading Nelson by 12,000 votes. DeSantis was leading Gillum by 34,000 votes, according to NBC.