The Florida elections are a mess. When it comes to counting ballots, they remain a total disaster. Broward and Palm Beach Counties, two Democratic households, are again the epicenters of intense scrutiny for their shoddy ballot counting operations, which a judge found to be in violation of public records laws. They weren’t giving regular updates on outstanding ballots as required by law. The lack of transparency led to the Republican Gov. Rick Scott, who had has declared victory over incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, to file multiple lawsuits against the counties, some documents lobbing serious allegations of potential fraud. Guy had a post noting other claims that must be investigated, as it appears Florida Democrats planned an organized effort to steal this election. In Scott’s lawsuit, a couple documents allege that Scott campaign representatives were barred from witnessing the replacement ballot processin Palm Beach. In this process, election officials can replace a damaged ballot that is unable to be read by machines. So, yes, they’re creating new ballots, and fraud is very much a danger here. That’s why there needs to be witnesses.
With Scott’s margin of victory razor thin after the mandatory machine recount, in which Palm Beach and Broward also failed to meet that deadline, we’re heading to a hand recount—and a judge just tossed a lawsuit filed by the Nelson campaign that is filing legal actions of their own ahead of this tedious process (via Politico):
Federal Judge Mark Walker has rejected a case brought by Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson’s campaign that challenged the rules county canvassing boards use to decipher and count certain votes.
The case filed Tuesday with the U.S. District Court in Tallahassee challenged two state Division of Elections rules known as the “magic words” requirement and the “consistency” requirement. Lawyers for Nelson’s campaign argued they violated free speech and equal protections provisions in the U.S. Constitution.
The case was one of several brought by Nelson’s campaign in anticipation of the manual recount that Secretary of State Ken Detzner ordered Thursday. Nelson trails Republican Gov. Rick Scott by just 12,603 votes.
The cases filed by Nelson’s campaign have not helped slim Scott’s razor thin lead. Walker handed Nelson a small win Thursday morning by giving voters until Saturday to fix ballots that had been rejected due to mismatched signatures. But a document submitted Thursday night by the National Republican Senatorial Committee shows that 65 counties had rejected a total of 4,839 vote-by-mail ballots due to faulty signatures. Another 97 provisional ballots were rejected for the same reason.
The hand recount gives the Nelson campaign some more time, but some honesty is needed her; he lost this election. It’s a stay of execution—and even CNN says that he would need a miracle to win…and it’s not coming.