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The Florida Democratic Party was quick to file a lawsuit Nov. 8 against the Volusia County Department of Elections, after Elections Supervisor Lisa Lewis refused to release a list of provisional ballots cast.

Just as quickly, it was dismissed Nov. 9.

Lewis had initially declined to release the list because she feared a voter could be identified by process of elimination: if only one voter in a precinct had a provisional ballot, a list of the provisional ballots cast would reveal that voter.

A hearing was scheduled for 3 p.m. Nov. 9 at the Volusia County Courthouse, but by 2 p.m., the Florida Democratic Party had filed for dismissal.

The Elections Office had provided the list of provisional ballots.

“I did it under protest,” Lewis told The Beacon. “I think the voter has the right to a secret ballot.”

That left at least three television news crews with nothing to film at the courthouse.

So, they packed themselves in the elevator that takes them to the bottom floor of the elections office, where ballot counting and recounts occur.

The flurry of activity interrupted the rhythmic sounds of Herman, the Volusia County Supervisor of Elections Office’s high-speed ballot tabulating machine, and of elections workers rustling paper ballots some six hours after they began the laborious work of recounting election results in three races.

As of 3:30 p.m., Nov. 9, workers were still on the first race to be recounted, Edgewater City Council District 1.

“I’d like to keep going — get it done,” Lewis said.

Although a relatively small race, with just over 8,500 votes total, workers had to find the relevant ballots amongst tens-of-thousands of others from nine days of early voting, and five different polling sites.

Periodic cheers and applause would erupt when a poll worker found a ballot to be recounted.

News crews or not, it looks like the steady and methodical ballot sorting that begun at 9 a.m. Nov. 9 will continue until the recounts are completed.

“We’ve been here until 3 a.m. before,” Lewis said.

A recount has also been ordered in the race for the District 1 seat on the Volusia County Council, as well as the race for the District 26 seat in the Florida House of Representatives.

In the County Council race, incumbent Councilman Pat Patterson trails challenger Barbara Girtman by just 177 votes, or 0.44 percent.

In the House race, incumbent Democratic state Rep. Patrick Henry trails Republican candidate Elizabeth Fetterhoff by 54 votes, or 0.1 percent.


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