It was perhaps predictable. Hours after Alan Lowe and four other candidates decisively and unquestionably lost the Palm Coast mayoral election to David Alfin Tuesday night, lugubrious chatter on social media’s usual Lowe-trotting channels began. The election was stolen. Renters from out of town voted. The voting machines switched votes. It was often a word for word parroting of the conspiratorial disbelief that Donald Trump instigated the night of his loss and fueled almost hourly afterward.
Except that Lowe has kept near-radio silence. The chatter on his page was his fans’, in a thread beneath what appear to be his only publicly published three words on his Facebook page since the election: “Thank you everyone!” (He did not respond to emailed questions about his intentions.) It did not keep the ominous from blustering, on that and other social media pages managed by Lowe’s reactionary backers.
No one is contesting the election, Supervisor of Elections Kaiti Lenhart said–and there wouldn’t be much to contest. Under Florida law, only elections with results showing the victor ahead by less than half a percentage point may be up for a recount, if one of the candidates requests it. Alfin won by 10 points, and 73 percent of voters chose someone other than Lowe. Still, his fans are appealing, at least to him, and others are fomenting free-lance investigations that may lend the impression of voting irregularities, though none have been reported or observed, let alone detected in the tabulations (the machines were audited before the election, as required by law.)
Lenhart has received a laborious public-record request about the election from a Republican party operative from Georgia and a demand for a “forensic audit” of the election from a local resident-activist allied with Dennis McDonald, the on-and-off gadfly and instigator. The social media chatter meanwhile is playing the role of Greek Chorus to Lowe’s tragedy.
“Are you contesting the results?” “Alan Lowe you had five times more support than Alfin I smell another liberal cheat in the pond.” “I wonder if it’s from all the people who owned rental apartments in Palm Coast and don’t live here we need to start knocking on doors to find out if these people actually live in Palm Coast or upstate New York.” “Everyone needs to register and they’re going to show you how the machines are switching votes.” “Hope there will be a recount and audit of the mail-in ballots!” “I’m through with this crap! Something crooked is going on!” “I’m not buying it, the results make no sense. I seriously have lost faith in the integrity of our election process.”
On another social media site there was a more threatening tone to a comment by an individual identifying himself as “Dave Teske”: “”Alfin, I’m moving to Palm Coast in September and believe this I will be watching your style of government and the 1st notice of impropriety we will be over like stink on…well you know what. You are accountable to us and not the money whores. I’m leaving Milwaukee and have put up with pay to play and it STOPS in Palm Coast.”
By a little after 7 a.m. this morning, Virginia Smith, the Palm Coast City Clerk, was receiving an email from a familiar source–Lou Vitale, who has led the opposition to a development around Palm Harbor, then to a proposed cell tower there, both times successfully.
“The Team at ProtectPalmCoast.com officially requests the cost with estimated delivery date for an independent Forensic Voting Audit of the Mayor’s Election on 27 July 2021,” Vitale wrote Smith. “This is very serious request, so we sincerely appreciate your time and effort responding to our inquiry.” (The “team” has usually meant Vitale and McDonald, both of whom have the means to bankroll their hobbies.)
There is no such thing as “an independent forensic voting audit”–not one that the Supervisor of Elections is legally required to provide, or to provide estimates about conducting one based on such vague and unprecedented parameters, though the ongoing “audit” of the presidential vote in Arizona, by Cyber Ninjas, a Florida cybersecurity firm that’s never done election auditing, has inspired many a would-be ninja to do likewise elsewhere.
Smith forwarded the Vitale email to Kaiti Lenhart, the Flagler Supervisor of Elections who ran the city’s special election and has been running flawless elections since she took over the office in 2015. Lenhart patiently explained the process: there is an audit coming. “We audit every election in Flagler County,” Lenhart wrote Vitale. “One race and one precinct are selected randomly by the Canvassing Board, and the paper ballots for the selected precinct and race are counted by hand. The purpose of the audit is to ensure the ballots match the tabulation totals.” (See the complete email thread here.)
The error rate between the hand-count and the automated count? “Absolutely zero, we’ve always had 100 percent in the last 12 years,” Lenhart said in an interview this evening. She was bemused by the request for a “forensic” audit. “I’m not even sure what that is.” At least not within the parameters of Florida law.
But election challenges in the Trump era are in a universe that parallels the law, or imagines its own, otherwise the Arizona “audit” would not have been necessary, coming as it did after some 60 legal decisions calling the election accurate and proper at every level of the judiciary, including the U.S. Supreme Court.
“An automated (software-based) independent audit can be used in Florida, but it must be approved by the Department of State, Division of Elections,” Lenhart told Vitale. “Flagler County does not use an automated system for auditing elections, we count the ballots by hand. This audit will be held on August 4, 2021 at 10:00 A.M. at the Elections Office in Bunnell. The meeting is open to the public and you are welcome to attend.”
Unsatisfied, Vitale then echoed social media chatter about an Alfin ally who had posted two days before the election that “the verdict” is in, based on mail-in ballots, which to Vitale (and many others on social media) raised the specter of an Alfin conspiracy that managed to stuff the mail-in ballots (even though Democrats actually did best in mail-ins, powering Cornelia Manfre, who came in third, close behind Lowe.) Lenhart said the statement was “a prediction and not a statement of fact,” and let him know she had “no intention of conducting an ‘Independent Forensic Voting Audit’ because such an activity is not authorized” by law. “Any associated costs and an estimated timeframe you have requested are impossible to produce, because a forensic voting audit process does not exist.” She again invited him to the lawful audit or even to meet with her.
By afternoon, Lenhart was receiving an extensive public-record request from Rebeckah Bennett, president of an Orlando company established six weeks ago as Enigma Intel Inc. for a slew of documents, starting with the supervisor’s office agreement with Palm Coast to run the election, then going on to the identities of “voter review panel members,” their party affiliation, lists of “precinct chairs names” (a request not in Lenhart’s purview: precinct chairpersons are determined by political parties), lists of poll watchers from all parties, and several other sets of figures. The requesting letter describes the company as “affiliated with a public interest group,” and as a non-profit “focused in Election Integrity and Humanitarian Efforts.”
The request doesn’t mention Lowe, referring to the “Mayoral race” on July 27. But the name of the pdf file where the requested items are listed does: “FOI-Lowe Mayoral Data.” Much of the requested information is meaningless: poll workers or anyone else involved in the running of the election have nothing to do with the ballots’ content, though the request letter appears to also cut-and-paste assumptions and that don’t apply in Florida, such as a request for data from “direct recording electronic voting systems,” or paperless balloting machines, which are now illegal in Florida. Bennett’s LinkedIn page, however, points to her history as a county Republican Party chairwoman in Georgia and a state committeewoman there until last April. She placed a limit of $25 on what she was willing to pay for the request.
T-rump junior !!!!!!
It is so hypocritical that the campaign that cried about “dark money” and “out of town supporters” is now looking to *checks notes* out of town and out of state operatives to contest this election.
Let’s just tell them “F*** your feelings. Your guy lost. Again.”
Also, the person *I* voted for in the election didn’t win. I have managed to not cry about it. Who are the snowflakes here?
Out of state money and out of state grass roots are completely different things.
The dude says
Concerned Citizen says
Alan Lowe did himself in.
You can’t go around lying before an election. And then get caught on camera doing so. It’s really hard to deny when it’s there for everyone to see.
As far as Dave Teske goes.
I’ve seen your type bluster. You won’t be any different from Barbosa,Danko or Mullins. It’s ashame your chosing Palm Coast to try and force your Northern Ways on us.
Pamela Sagala says
I totally agree Lowe’s history and his association with both Danko and Barbosa did him in
Frank W says
Lowe, the sovereign citizen, is living up to the sovcit ideal. Lots of claims but no evidence, no proof, just lies.
CC, I’m just as happy as you are that we dodged a bullet with Lowe and elected an intelligent, reasonable person as Mayor. I’m a Dem who voted for David.
But really, can you people please let go of this “Southerner/Northerner mentality? These idiots trying to bring a “Big Lie” situation to Palm Coast are just that, idiots! What they are trying to do has nothing to do with where they come from. Its all about the Cult of Drumpf that they genuflect to. Please, the Civil War is over. We are all Americans now.
Pat Stote says
Thanks to Trump it is not “In Vogue” to demand recounts. I fear this will never stop.
I bet no sane person saw this coming LOL . This is exactly what I expected Such a bunch of sad pathetic people they are. PS Your Interview sucked or lack of it and The Agenda of No has played out buh Bye
Hey you Lowe/trumpers, get over it, you effing lost and the election wasn’t rigged! Now grow the eff up and put your damn Trump flags in the trash where you belong.
No doubt Jewish laser beams burned the Lowe ballots. Or maybe the Kraken ate them.
Please forgive the familiarity Pierre, but the moment is ripe. Reach out to the Coen brothers, Tarantino – SNL! News reports alone ought to make a persuasive pitch for a project based on the latest version of floriduh’s little acre.
Live long and prosper. You’ve earned it.
MARK WOODS says
Weird that all these folks from Mullins’ home state are interested.
Pissed in PC says
I think we need to put 2 time Loser Lowe, Mullins, Stanko and the McDonalds on that midnight train to Georgia and let Stacie Abrams teach them about elections. It wasn’t rigged, he’s just a loser and soon Mullins, Stanko and nut case Janet will be Losers too! Why don’t all their mouth breathing ilk go form their own city up there? Better yet just move to MAGAlardo and kiss the feet of their orange grifting clown. My candidate didn’t win but I’m not a deplorable snowflake.
Is anyone at all really surprised by this? It must be the water.
Like we didn’t see this coming. LOL 😂😂😂
My only reservations with a Real Estate type being mayor is we’ll end up with Splash Pads that are 3 month in from a grand opening as a failed project & we’re looking at Pickleball court projects with no USTA guaranteed Tournament revenue for to begin. We can build world class sports facilities until all of the swamp land is developed and that won’t change the fact that this county doesn’t have the industry to maintain even the pool facility that is virtually bankrupt. Imagine taking the Splash pad money & the pickleball court money, how the pool could’ve been saved ? Or ho much of that would pay for the new FCSO construction & facility ? I heard that these other amenities draw families to live here, if there are no decent paying jobs here, those families will leave, poverty & playing at the Splash Pad or pickleball courts is no way to go thru life. Are those pickleball courts for the wealthier in Flagler County ? And when the crime starts to ramp up. A safe & secure community will attract families & retain that growth over Splash pads & pickleball courts. Those apartment complexes are going to turn into meth labs & drug dealing complexes. That element has already been caught doing that over by the Town Center. We read about yet another drug house getting shut down on Shady Lane.
“Both” McDonald’s”…along with the rest of the cronies need to go and find another state to spread your slanderous, lying, deceitful, antics!! This was a non partisan race! I am a Republican and “proudly” voted for Aflin!!
ps. to the Georgia and Minnesota residents…worry about your own state and you can stay out of ours!!
Just maybe the Palm Coast circus will be almost normal again. I doubt it though.
The dude says
All HOA’s eventually devolve into circuses and clown cars.
Small minded, petty people who wish to hold dominion over other’s lives will always be attracted to serving in HOA’s.
Palm Coast government is no exception to that rule.
Maybe the palm coast circus will end now. I doubt it though.
We dodged a bullet by defeating Lowe and Manfre.
It’s so funny to see the Democrats and Liberals rejoicing in a Republican victory.
The dude says
We ended up with the least shitty option available among the orange cultists.
And, the biggest orange cultist in the contest was handily defeated by the winner, not to mention the fact that he barely beat the Dem…
The dude says
Orange cultists are the sorest losers ever in the history of sore losing.
Tired of this says
Will Alfin be able to control Danko and Barbosa? I doubt it.
We have an excellent elctions supervisor and staff. Good luck finding any improprieties.
Lowe and Macdonald will continue to try and cause problems. Losers, both of them…like their hero trump.
The dude says
Don’t need to “control” them… just ignore them and work with the other two council members.
Ignoring narcissists and megalomaniacs is way more effective than giving them the attention they crave by trying to “control” them.
We now live in a world that Donald Trump has corrupted all Republicans spread propaganda and if they don’t agree with correct news or voters decisions on who they elect.
If the Cult Republicans continues to corrupt our country in this manner we are all in deep trouble. It is time our government officials lthe USA Attorney General puts into law anyone spreading lies, conspiracy theories without valid proof will be charged and arrested.
Mr. Lowe is sure teaching his children and grand children the incorrect way to behave as an adult.
The dude says
To be fair…
I haven’t seen Lowe (or Danko, actually) put forward any of this nonsense, just the members of the cult.
Now, also to be fair, I haven’t seen either of them try to discourage the cultists and their “Small city, Big Lie” propaganda either…
Now, when do the candidates go take down all their election signs? Don’t let PC become an eyesore.
Lowe just proved to all why he would have been a lousy Mayor. Isn’t McDonald a fugitive or something?
I am sick and tired to hear Recount the vote
We have the best Supervise of electionend in years in Flagler County
Let’s grow up
McDonald is at it again. How much will it cost the taxpayers here this time? Get your wallets out. This county needs an exorcism for this guy and his friends.
All these people have are their conspiracy theories. When reality doesn’t suit them (or agree with their prejudices and fully support their personal self-interests), they turn to their fractured fairytale scripts and demand that the rest of world comply with their demands so they can always have things their way.
In other words, they act like entitled children who have been spoiled rotten and gotten their way for far too long. Time for them to put it to bed so they can finally wake up.
Rican Rob says
The Circus Clown Show in Palm Coast will now begin……….. Don’t forget to put on your RED NOSE, libbies !
Donna Allen says
David Aflin is a Republican so what’s your problem this time?
Seeing all these Lowe whores calling Alfin a liberal is the greatest comedy show of the year
Joseph Shabotz says
People, please understand that Alan Lowe is NOT, was NOT and never will be a “Republican”. He is NOT even an American!
He didn’t vote in any election for his entire life and only called himself a “Trump Republican” because he knew he could get people worked up about it. He is a nothing.
Alan Lowe doesn’t really care about Trump politics, or anyone’s politics for that matter. He is willing to betray and manipulate the entirety of the PC population to get what he wants. Alan S Lowe desires only to be famous.
So everyone, please join me as we watch Alan Lowe blame, attack and betray Ed Danko and Vic Barbosa for his loss a second time. Alan Lowe twisted his entire life story on misunderstandings and playing the victim, nothing is his fault. Except this time it’s all his fault.
But not to be outdone they shall in return publicly wash their hands of him and privately confess how deranged and twisted he really is. Lowes campaign manager Ed Danko has already begun the spin and distancing himself, how he had no idea than Lowe was just as full of crap as Ed himself. And poor Vic is magically no longer interested in talking about it (probably because he has REAL international issues to address).
Let’s all learn from these human mistakes and elect honest, real people.
David Schaefer says
Ed Stanko and Barbosa are no better they fell off the horse manure truck years ago………………
with the new mayor the city will stay the same, get better, or get worst. I would like to c it get better, I believe it will stay the same. Just saying.