Clemens-Bernard count postponed again until 4:30 p.m.by Andrew Abramson | August 15th, 2012
Both Mack Bernard and Jeff Clemens were on hand this morning to see the final results of Tuesday’s State Senate vote. And they’ll have to wait even longer.
The county’s canvassing board finished counting absentee ballots last night but postponed their count of provisional ballots until 10 a.m. this morning. But after counting about 25 provisional ballots today, the board had to postpone the count until 4:30 p.m.
Because of a change in the voting law last year, voters who move from one county to another and haven’t changed their address with the supervisor’s office prior to voting now have to fill out a provisional ballot. Previously, a voter already registered in the state could change their address when voting and fill out a standard ballot.
Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher said her office will spend the next few hours contacting elections’ offices in 11 counties to ensure that voters who filled out provisional ballots did not also vote in the county they were previously registered in. Bucher said she’s not sure if there are just 11 ballots left to count or if one or more of the counties had multiple voters cast a provisional ballot in Palm Beach County on Tuesday.
The canvassing board counted about 25 ballots Wednesday morning, but Bucher did not provide updated figures. As of Wednesday morning, Clemens is up just 35 votes on fellow state representative Bernard out of more than 24,000 votes (50.07 percent to 49.93 percent).
While Bernard spent hours last night at the Palm Beach County tabulation center in Riviera Beach, Clemens celebrated what he thought was a victory and later sent some of his consultants to the vote count.
On Wednesday, both Clemens and Bernard were on hand to watch the final vote. Bucher said a recount is expected this weekend, which is required when a race is within half a percentage point.
“I don’t think much is going to change today,” Clemens said. “I’m just glad I’m still up.”
Both sides had lawyers on hand in case there is a legal challenge.
“My attorney and I have not a chance to assess the situation,” Bernard said. “The first thing is to make sure every vote is counted.”