Category Archives: #RatherBeInCourt

Florida General Election Recount


Many have asked about the outcome of the recent Florida elections and true to our state’s proud history (think Gore Versus Bush and the “hanging chads”) of elections there will be a recount of this past Tuesday’s general election for several of offices likely including Florida’s Governor and Agricultural Commissioner and the U.S. Senate race between Scott and Nelson. What this leads to is anyone’s guess but Florida being Florida we’d not have it any other way in the Great State of Denial (I mean Florida).

Given the level of interest, I am going to share an outline and update that Jake Farmer prepared and gave permission to share that describes in detail what will likely take place and when:

2018 Florida Recount Update

Today in Florida we are preparing for the first automatic statewide recount in our history. Below is a brief description of the process that will be followed, which was placed into law after the election in 2000. There are no more hanging chads, and the process to determine a voter’s intent is pretty straightforward and contained in Florida Statutes Chapter 102.166.

There are two basic phases for a statewide recount: an automatic recount by machine and, if needed, a manual recount on under and over votes for the specific races under 0.25 percent. We expect by the weekend we will see the US Senate, Governor, and Agriculture Commissioner all in machine recounts, with the Senate and Agriculture Commissioner race headed to manual. (As of now Gov. Scott still leads the Senate race over Sen. Bill Nelson, but Nikki Fried has passed Matt Caldwell in the Agriculture Commissioner race).

As for the statewide races; we expect to see Senate District 18 (Dana Young vs. Janet Cruz), House District 26 (Elizabeth Fetterhoff vs. Patrick Henry), and House District 89 (Mike Caruso vs. Jim Bonfiglio) in a recount.

The process is outlined in the attached memo from the division, but in short, unofficial returns are due to the state by Saturday at noon. After those ballots are counted, any federal, state or multicounty race that is separated by 0.5 percent or less will automatically be run through the optical scan machines again. Typically with machine recounts, very few changes are typically found, but then again, no one has ever seen this done statewide.

The machine recount is due by 3 p.m. on Thursday, November 15th. Any race that is separated by 0.25 percent or less will automatically undergo a manual recount, which must be wrapped up by Sunday, November 18th.

In the event of a manual recount, the only ballots that will be scrutinized are those where there were either too many or too few candidates selected for the specific race at stake (meaning under or no vote cast in the race and overvotes, meaning more than one decision was indicated or some other error).

The 67 canvassing boards will send their final vote totals for the manually recounted races to the state by November 18th at noon.

The state Elections Canvassing Commission, made up of the governor and two members of the Florida cabinet selected by the governor, will certify the results in a 9 a.m. meeting at the state Capitol on November 20th.

I’ve Done All I Can. Now I Need Your Help.


November 7th will be two years since the day I woke up in 2016 shocked to learn that Donald Trump had been elected President of the United States.

The news was so devastating, the threat it represented (since manifested) to our environment and to the decency of America, so profound that it brought me to tears. Yes, I will admit that I cried often that day and the two days that followed. And I can tell you that I was not alone. Many of my friends and acquaintances were also in shock and tears and it was not the “good” type of shock that happens when you first eat a bite of freezing cold ice cream, but the pain of the loss of a loved one. Like when my grandmother, Grandby, passed. It was simply horrible.

November 2016 was a very cruel month but it was also an educational time for me too. It taught me that politics is dirty and filled with surprises and that, yes, some of them are painful and confusing. How could science, decency and honesty not be embraced by voters?

November 2016 was also motivational for me in a way that only fear can truly motivate. The fear that our environment would be sold and destroyed by those only interested in living in the past, supporting the politics of polluters and developed until nothing was left is, to say the least, motivational. The fear that women would be marginalized or worse (and as it turns out, it was far worse than I could have guessed at 17 years of age).

And so it has been two years since those tears fell and the shock that had set in turned into anger and then to motivation. I could not vote in 2016, but now I can. And I most certainly will.

With the United States 2018 election now upon us I want you to know that I’ve tried very hard to encourage people to vote. Like really, really hard.

I’ve written more blogs, attended more rallies, supported and consulted with and for more prominent candidates than I can recall. These last two years have been a blur of talks and speeches and writing and videos and nearly all of it has been centered on trying to motivate others to help me fix what’s broken. To take back this land of yours and mine. Much of that work has happened between classes, at night and on weekends and none of it do I regret. In fact, the social sacrifices or what-not that I’ve made are small compared to the importance of what we face on November 6th and beyond.

The responses I’ve received from people all over the world to my blogs and other posts not only means a great deal to me but inspires me. To those that have forwarded or reposted my work by the now tens of thousands, or those hundreds of thousands that that have read them, thank you.

Screenshot (34)

To the esteemed people and organizations that believe my little voice means something, thank you. To The Years Project and David Gelber, as well as Joel Bach, Kiara Richardson, Joshua Futtersak and Karen Shakerdge, thank you for caring enough to come to Miami to film and then post a video that 811,000 people and counting have viewed. If you’ve not seen or shared it please consider doing so today:


To Jon Favreau and Dan Pfeiffer from Pod Save America, and to HBO Television, thank you for featuring youth activists in your premier show last month, myself included, and for exposing our concerns about the importance of this election to your millions of viewers and followers. And speaking of ice cream, thanks for hosting our segment at Dasher & Crank, and for the amazing treats they serve.

Screenshot (36)

And to The Sierra Club, Darren Aronofsky and Sandy Haddad, thank you for believing that 14 other kids and I have something worthy to say and sharing our message in such an artistic way with now millions of views much less some pretty cool tags from the likes of Mark Ruffalo, Amy Schumer, Barbra Streisand, and everyone else. If you’ve not seen Darren’s videos of my friends and me for The Sierra Club, for you really, please consider checking these two out as a start:

I’ve only recently become old enough to vote but I’ve done everything I can think of these last two years to make a difference. To inspire and motivate others to vote, especially youth. To fight back.



It’s your turn.

I understand that we are all busy with school, work, family and on and on. I understand that the weather could be an issue (excuse?) and that traffic sucks. But I also understand that voting is not only our right but our obligation and I need you to please make it a priority this year. I have seen and heard from thousands of people these last two years and what I have seen mostly is the pain and confusion you felt, as did I, on November 6th, 2016. I’ve stopped counting the number of people who have asked me “what can I do, Delaney?.”

The answer is simple.

Don’t suffer in silence.


Sleight of Hand: Florida’s Magician Governor Rick Scott

IMG_6949 0AAB56C7-5F52-46FB-8815-5EB5C695F8E1

I love a good magic show and have been fooled by some of the best. When street magician extraordinaire David Blaine made ¾ of a deck of cards disappear in front of my eyes just prior his show here in Miami last year, I was stunned. By any measure, David is an amazing artist and makes his craft look, well, like real magic.

But as wonderful as he is, you know that he’s an expert at deception, at sleight of hand, of making uncomfortable, often impossible things appear normal. Right before your eyes.

Carter The Great

The longer I follow Florida’s Governor Rick Scott the more I become convinced that he’s also a world class necromancer, a magician of sorts (apologies to real magicians). In fact, David Blaine has nothing on our Governor and if you were to wonder why I think this, you need only to consider a few of the tricks he’s pulled on Floridians and our environment in recent years.

Alakazam: Making “Climate Change” Disappear


Houdini would blush at how Governor Rick Scott made our climate crisis and phrases like “climate change”, “sea level rise” and “global warming” disappear from state records and reports during his terms in office as was widely reported in the media and press (click here to learn more).

Rather than deal with the issue in a direct, decent way, the Governor has insisted that those who work for him should avoid using these terms and others as if the problem does not exist. You can learn more about his tricks and even see him perform by watching the short video produced by Ahead of the Tide entitled Chapter Three: The Political Climate.

The Amazing Power Plant Vote Vanish


Conjurer, I mean Governor, Scott pulled an especially big rabbit out of his hat in Broward County last month by making a long-expected vote in support of a gigantic new power plant disappear. Scott’s largest corporate donor (giving a reported $ 500,000 to his U.S. Senate campaign), Next Era Energy’s Florida Power & Light (FPL) plans to build the new power plant in Dania, a facility it describes as world class. Unfortunately, we’ve also learned that the planned “Dania Beach Clean Energy Center” plant will produce a “net increase from some pollutants”.

The Governor did not, of course, use his magic to require his friends at FPL make the pollution disappear. Doing that would have been rude considering the price they’ve paid ($ 500,000) for tickets to his “show”.

No, what he did was postpone the long-planned September 11th hearing to approve the plant until after the upcoming election, likely deciding it better that news of the plant, its vote, his support and especially the news that it will actually increase pollution disappear until after the polls close. It’s like watching that age-old trick where the magician asks you to find where the ball is hidden under a set of cups, reliant upon the notion that the hand is quicker than the eye.

Florida’s Climate Change Litigation Levitation


And that leads me to this week’s long planned legal Hearing in Tallahassee for the climate change lawsuit that seven other Florida children and I have brought against the State, our Governor and others. We filed our case (Reynolds v. State of Florida) in April (you can read about it here).

Late Monday, just three days before the October 4th Hearing and many months after the Judge was assigned the case, Judge Cooper announced that he was recusing himself due to a conflict of interest, turning the case back over to the Chief Justice and, thus, requiring that a new Judge and Hearing date be set. You can read about the Judge’s recent decision in the article from Politico below:

Key hearing in climate change lawsuit delayed after judge steps aside

By Bruce Ritchie

10/01/2018 05:49 PM EDT

A state judge today removed himself from a lawsuit challenging Florida’s inaction on climate change, indefinitely delaying a key hearing that had been scheduled for Thursday.

Circuit Court Judge John C. Cooper, in an order recusing himself from the case, said he had a conflict of interest and asked the chief judge to assign one of his colleagues to the matter.

Cooper provided no details about led to the decision and did not respond to requests for comment. He had scheduled the Thursday hearing to consider the state’s motion to dismiss the case.

The lawsuit, filed in April, alleges state officials ignored a constitutional policy requiring Florida “to conserve and protect its natural resources and scenic beauty.”

Briefs filed in July on behalf of Gov. Rick Scott several state agencies argue the state constitution is not self-executing and that the court is being asked to involve itself in policy decisions and executive branch functions.

The lawsuit was filed by eight Florida residents ranging in age from 10 to 20 and is supported by the Oregon-based nonprofit Our Children’s Trust, which has been involved in similar lawsuits in other states.

A copy of Cooper’s request can be viewed by clicking here.



The immediate reaction by many was to ask whether the Governor and politics have played a role in this surprise news just days before the Hearing. Lawyers tell me this type of decision this close to a planned Hearing is unusual but not unprecedented. And, of course, there is supposed to be a separation between our Executive and Judicial branches of government but the recent Supreme Court deliberations in Washington illustrate that that politics and the courts interact in strange and mysterious ways.

Whether the Governor performed some sort of sleight of hand to not face our concerns (and us) just before the election, I can’t say, but as a well-known climate change denier and someone who has spent two terms avoiding the topic he’s likely not unhappy with the news. Having to publicly answer tough questions about his total lack of action on an issue impacting millions of Floridians, one that local communities are already spending hundreds of millions of dollars on to mitigate could and should hurt his chances on November 6th, so the postponement could be seen as welcome news the same way delaying the polluting power plant vote might help.

Political hocus pocus?


But you can rest assured that our Hearing will be rescheduled and that we will have our day, likely many days, in Court. My young friends and I are resilient, we will NEVER give up until we solve the climate crisis and our society shifts to sustainable energy solutions. Doing that will not require magic but hard work and perseverance to break through established politics and special interests.

Until then, please keep in mind that the real magic this Fall takes place in the voting booth where the Governor can be made to vanish from office and, I hope, disappear from politics all together faster than you can say Sim Sala Bim. The magic wand to make that happen is in your hands and appears on November 6th. I sure hope you use it wisely. Florida’s future depends on it.

1 22 23 24 25 26 27