REPORT: ‘Worst to First’ — Why Election Day Still Means Something in Florida

Delays in results are driven by states who allow mail ballots to arrive after Election Day.

(Alexandria, VA) – May 8, 2023: Today, the Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) released a report, Worst to First, detailing how Florida is able to know its election results on election night. In 2022, the last federal election was called on December 13, a total of 35 days after Election Day. In sharp contrast, Florida managed to call all U.S. House, Senate, and Gubernatorial races within two hours of polls closing.

PILF investigators interviewed state and local officials and studied Florida’s election laws to identify why Election Day still means something in the Sunshine State. The Foundation identified eight polices that allow Florida to know its election results on Election Night:

  • Pre-Election Audit of Equipment to Avoid Election Day Mishaps
  • Absentee ballots must arrive by Election Day
  • Absentee ballot verification through unique identifying numbers like driver’s license or Social Security numbers
  • Early Canvassing of Absentee Ballots with Observers and criminal penalties for releasing information related to the pre-canvass count
  • Electronic poll books
  • Paper ballots counted electronically
  • Ban Ranked Choice Voting

After the debacle of 2000, Florida has transformed its election system to one of the best in the country,” said PILF President, J. Christian Adams. “Americans deserve to go to bed on Election Night knowing who won. The month’s long wait for election results leads to uncertainty and distrust in our election process. States must implement these crucial policies, such as requiring mail ballots to arrive by Election Day, to restore the ‘day’ in Election Day.”

Eighteen states and the District of Columbia accept mail ballots that arrive after Election Day. Some even accept ballots up to two weeks after Election Day.

Read Worst to First: Why Election Day Still Means Something in Floridahere.

Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) is the nation’s only public interest law firm dedicated wholly to election integrity. The Foundation exists to assist states and others to aid the cause of election integrity and fight against lawlessness in American elections. Drawing on numerous experts in the field, PILF seeks to protect the right to vote and preserve the Constitutional framework of American elections. PILF has brought lawsuits and won victories in Texas, Mississippi, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and across the United States.


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