“I am considering every single legal option available,” Rick Scott announced last night, and he’s not kidding around. The Florida governor whose Senate election bid is being held up in Broward and Palm Beach counties ordered an investigation by state police into the actions of two county election officers, whom Scott accused of flagrantly violating state election laws in the conduct of their ballot counting. Scott also announced a lawsuit to force both counties into compliance while accusing officials of “rampant fraud”:
Republican Florida Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday evening filed suit and asked for an investigation into ongoing ballot counts that he accused of being a partisan attempt by “unethical liberals” to steal the state’s Senate election.
Scott, who ran against incumbent Democrat Sen. Bill Nelson, alleged that the Broward County and Palm Beach County supervisors of elections were engaging in “rampant fraud.” …
The National Republicans Senatorial Committee joined Scott on Thursday to file suit against both Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes and Palm Beach Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher. Scott alleges that the supervisors have violated federal and state laws by failing to provide information to officials.
A judge ruled in May of this year that Snipes had illegally destroyed votes during a 2016 election and Scott said at the time he would send experts to Broward for the upcoming elections, according to the Sun Sentinel.
The biggest issue is the lack of transparency on the number of ballots cast in both counties. The election officers were required to provide an overall total by Wednesday morning in order for observers to know what the final number would be. As of this morning, that still has not been accomplished, but meanwhile tens of thousands of ballots have been added to the votes since Election Night. Scott flat-out accuses Snipes and Boucher of fabricating votes, and he wants the process yanked away from them to find out exactly what’s going on.
As of this morning, the Florida Division of Elections still shows Scott with a 15,000+ lead in the Senate race. Ron DeSantis has a larger lead in the gubernatorial race of 36,000+. Both races are already in the automatic machine-recount range, and the Senate race may be in the hand-recount range. As Scott notes above, though, the gaps in both cases far exceed the kind of changes that could come in a recount. Unless Broward and Palm Beach unpack a whole boatload of new ballots, of course.
In the meantime, we can dust off a familiar nickname for Florida, and it ain’t “the Sunshine State”:
Among the lawyers popping up at the Broward Supervisor of Elections Office Thursday were William Scherer and Ben Kuehne — a pair of legal throwbacks to Florida’s fiercely disputed 2000 presidential election recount.
“The embarrassing nickname for Florida is Flori-duh because of Broward,” Scherer said, with recounts looming in major races after Tuesday’s general election. “And this is Flori-duh again.” …
Scherer said he’s filed several lawsuits against Broward Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes’ office over the years, including one involving absentee ballots and write-in candidates and another involving a candidate’s name change.
Asked why he was hanging around her office, Scherer said: “There could be opportunities for voter fraud,” Scherer said. Why? “Because it’s in Broward.”
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