Barry Richard, representing Democrat Andrew Gillum as the recount progresses, has a unique perspective on these matters.
In 2000, Richard was George W. Bush‘s lawyer.
Unlike 18 years ago, Richard’s client may not prevail: with an hour before the Thursday at 3 p.m. machine recount deadline, there is little indication that Gillum will overcome the 0.41 percent deficit against Republican Ron DeSantis.
On MSNBC Thursday, Richard said it was “disturbing” that “people are a lot nastier today, both the voters and the candidates,” exhibiting more “vitriol” than even that fever-pitch Presidential year.
Regarding the mechanics of the recount itself, which thus far has shown constancy in results in counties reporting new figures, Richard’s concern is that while the process is “a lot more efficient than in 2000,” that said “efficiency has been accomplished at the sacrifice of everyone’s vote being counted.”
Richard did not seem confident that nearly 34,000 votes would be found in the recount.
“First of all,” the attorney said, “I have no idea whether there’s enough votes or not.”
But the recount is but one concern; a second concern Richard pointed out was structural.
“In eighteen years, we haven’t fixed the main problem,” he noted. “We have no consistent standards from county to county. That’s a violation of everybody’s equal protection rights.”
“The Legislature hasn’t done the job,” Richard added, noting that “Gillum’s primary concern is fixing the problem. That’s what he’s weighing in his mind [regarding] what his next option will be.”
“We’re going to determine what his legal rights are,” Richard said, “either in a lawsuit in this case or beyond this case.”
“This is a problem that needs to be fixed, not just in Florida but elsewhere,” Richard added.
Gillum interviewed with Rolling Stone earlier this week, where he opaquely discussed the path ahead.
“I think my mission and my work becomes a lot more clear, first and foremost around the work that has to be done to ensure our democracy. And that means counting every vote. Every legal vote that is cast being counted. I don’t know what form that takes, really. I haven’t been able to think long enough and hard enough about that,” Gillum said.
“But I do know that I don’t want to see anybody legitimately have the excuse that they are not voting because their votes don’t count. That can’t happen. Whether I’m the one impacted by that vote or not. That can’t be the legacy of this election. I’m not gonna let that be the legacy of this election,” Gillum added.