TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A federal judge is refusing to suspend looming election recount deadlines in the battleground state of Florida.
U.S. District Judge Mark Walker on Thursday rejected a request by U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson and Democrats to give counties more time to finish recounts. All 67 counties are required to submit the results of a machine recount by 3 p.m.
Palm Beach County’s election supervisor has already warned that the county will not be able to finish on time.
In his ruling, Walker said he was concerned that some counties may not complete their work by the deadline. But he said there is a lack of information on when Palm Beach County would wrap up its work.
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Walker said he cannot “fashion a remedy in the dark.”
The supervisor of elections in Florida’s Palm Beach County said the likelihood of her office completing the recount by the state-mandated 3 p.m. deadline is “very slim.”
Susan Bucher defended her office Thursday morning, saying the incomplete recount wasn’t “for lack of human effort.”
Bucher explained that the elections office in Riviera Beach shut down Wednesday night because “when you work about 45 hours in a row, you have to let people sleep.”
Bucher says she believes her office did everything it could despite not completing the U.S. Senate race recount.
She blames aging equipment for the delays in meeting Thursday’s deadline for machine recount results.