Judge: Florida is ‘laughing-stock of the world’

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A federal judge is sharply criticizing Florida legislators and elections officials in Palm Beach County for the state’s chronic recount issues.

During a hearing on whether to extend the 3 p.m. Thursday deadline in the state’s recount for a U.S. Senate seat the governor’s race, U.S. District Judge Mark Walker noted that Florida has a history of “razor thin” elections, yet Palm Beach County delayed purchasing enough voting machines to handle a recount.

Walker said Florida has been “the laughing stock of the world election after election and we chose not to fix this.”

The judge also said that the recount procedure in Florida law is written in a way that doesn’t allow for possible problems. He suggested that runs against past federal court rulings, including the Bush v. Gore ruling that decided the 2000 presidential recount.