Florida Governor Rick Scott has filed lawsuits against both Broward and Palm Beach County Election Supervisors and accused them of possible “rampant voter fraud” after the uncovering of almost 100,000 new ballots.
Rick Scott ran against incumbent Democrat Senator Bill Nelson for his senate seat and appeared to be the victor on Tuesday – with Nelson even conceding on the night. Tuesday evening saw Scott leading Nelson with a 57,000 vote majority, but as of Thursday evening it has dwindled to just under 15,000. The dramatic shrinking of Scott’s majority was seen after Broward County, the epicenter of the 2000 recount, and Palm Beach County have resumed the counting of newly found ballots, despite the cut-off being more than two days ago.
Scott, in a press conference outside the Governor’s Mansion Thursday evening, stated that Florida has seen incompetence and irregularities for years in the tabulation of ballots in Broward and Palm Beach and “would not sit idly by while unethical liberals try steal the election from the people of Florida.”
Florida law states that all absentee and mail-in ballots must be counted within 30 minutes after the closing of polling stations. Despite this, Rick Scott has seen his lead shrink from 57,000 votes on Tuesday night to 38,000 on Wednesday morning, 30,000 by Wednesday evening, 21,000 on Thursday morning and to below 15,000 on Thursday evening.
Bill Nelson’s campaign is now seeking a recount and has hired Marc Elias – general counsel for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign. Elias was also who hired Fusion GPS to complete the opposition research which ultimately resulted in the Trump-Russia dossier. Elias stated he believes the race will result in a “hand recount and victory.”
Broward County stated on election night that there were 634,000 votes cast that day. As of 1 pm Thursday, that number was corrected to 695,700 and again later that day at 2:30 pm to 707,223. Thursday evening saw that number jump further to 712,840, as Palm Beach County claimed to find over 15,000 previously untallied votes. Both Election Supervisors, Brenda Snipes of Broward County and Susan Bucher of Palm Beach County, cannot say how many more ballots exist, where the newly found ballots are from or where they’ve been.
Broward’s Supervisor Snipes has a history of acting in bad faith. Earlier this year, a judge ruled that their office has broken both state and federal laws by illegally destroying 2016 election ballots; that same year they were accused of illegally publishing election results 30 minutes before polls closing. Snipes has also been accused of leaving amendments off ballots. Fellow Democrats have even accused her of individual and systemic breakdowns to stop the casting of ballots. Palm Beach County is also refusing to allow official party reps to oversee the counting of ballots.
* Alex Croft is a university student studying history, politics and international relations and is a contributor to Being Libertarian.