It took an excruciatingly long time for Joe Biden to be declared president. Why couldn’t every state be like Florida, which delivered its verdict on voting night? As the Miami newspaper, the Sun Sentinel, put it, the Sunshine State is no longer a “Flori-duh laughing-stock” after its sterling performance — even if Donald Trump’s shock three-point victory there had sent Democrats into premature meltdown.
Unlike many states, Florida began processing its mail-in ballots 22 days before the election. It is used to tight contests and has plenty of senior citizens, who have always preferred to post their votes. So it was well prepared for the count. But this was also a political choice, as the former Florida governor Jeb Bush explained succinctly on Twitter: “Because we learned our lesson after 2000 and changed our laws.”
Then, his brother George W Bush had led Al Gore, the Democratic candidate, on the night — and the whole election hinged on Florida. After an agonising recount and an appeal to the Supreme Court, Bush won the state by only 537 votes and entered the White House.