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Once upon a time, a very terrible man who is now dead halted the counting of votes in Florida because doing so would cast "a cloud upon what he claims to be the legitimacy of his election." The "he" in this case was one George W. Bush, and had those votes been counted, had the butterfly ballot used by Florida not led to many people accidentally voting for Pat Buchanan, Al Gore would have been our president, we probably would have never gone to war with Iraq, and things probably would have been a lot nicer across the board. We might have even had less fucked up elections were this not a thing people felt they could get away with.

Of course, at that time, the Supreme Court was not the only one demanding Gore give up. Even many people who considered themselves Democrats at the time were going the route of "OH MY GOD THIS IS SOOOOOOO EMBARRASSING, JUST STAHP!" and demanding Gore do the "statesman-like" thing and concede. And he did.

This year, however? Shit is changing, and Democratic candidates are not so easily shamed into backing down, especially when things are looking shady. Stacey Abrams is holding out in Georgia, where votes were clearly screwed with, waiting until all the votes have been counted in Arizona -- despite the preferences of the Arizona GOP -- has led to Krysten Sinema taking a significant lead against Martha McSally, and in Florida, Democrat Bill Nelson is refusing to back down until all the votes are counted, despite the fact that Rick Scott has already declared victory.

In Florida, if the vote margin is less than 0.5 percent, the state's election rules will require a recount. Because of the way things are done now, two of Florida's more liberal counties -- Palm Beach and Broward County -- have not yet finished counting mail-in ballots, Broward hasn't finished counting early ballots, and many other counties have yet to finish counting provisional ballots. However, according to Marco Rubio and Donald Trump, counting these ballots amounts to trying to steal an election. Or, as they say, cast a cloud on what Rick Scott believes is the legitimacy of his election.

Naturally, the Right is panicking, and a cabal of conspiracy theorists led by Roger Stone -- whom you may recall led the Brooks Brothers Riot of 2000, when a bunch of Republican operatives got extremely violent trying to intimidate vote counters into stopping -- have descended upon Broward county to demand the vote counting stop. They also think that Nelson is trying to steal the election by adding in a bunch of fake ballots or something. Basically, they don't understand the way any of this works or where the ballots are coming from, and have filled in the blanks themselves. Which, historically, has been a stupid idea.

The Daily Beast reports:

Former Infowars reporter Joe Biggs declared on Twitter that he was heading to Florida to stop "radical leftists."
Right-wing activist Laura Loomer, a former James O'Keefe associate who has made her name by yelling at prominent Democrats in a stunt that she calls "Loomering", said on Twitter that she too was headed to Broward and planned to meet with Stone.

"I'll #Loomer the whole state of Florida if that's what it takes," Loomer tweeted.

Ali Alexander, a pro-Trump figure who runs a PAC bankrolled by the billionaire Mercer family, claimed that he would recruit both believers in the ludicrous QAnon conspiracy theory and homeless people to picket the Board of Elections.

Truly, a star-studded event if ever there was one. Also participating in the event are a group of Proud Boys, the violent Republican street gang known for stomping on people they disagree with and also acting as Stone's bodyguards.

A judge held on Friday afternoon that Broward County release the number of votes they have left to count, in hopes of appeasing the conspiracy theorists, but that will be unlikely to happen as they will then just come up with another thing.

Regardless of how these elections turn out, the fact that these candidates were not cowed by Republican whines to just concede already is a victory and a huge deal in and of itself. Not only because it takes away their power, but because standing up for every person's vote to be counted, demanding they be counted, is the right thing to do for our country. It's what they should be doing.

[Daily Beast]

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Robyn Pennacchia

Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Previously, she was a Senior Staff Writer at Death & Taxes, and Assistant Editor at The Frisky (RIP). Currently, she writes for Wonkette, Friendly Atheist, Quartz and other sites. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse

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