By CANDY STALLWORTH
Once again, election activities in Florida have come under scrutiny, and once again, a recount is likely. At issue this time around are Broward County and Palm Beach County, where it appears that early voting ballots remain uncounted, election staff is not allowing monitoring of their vote-counting processes, and election workers may have altered unclear ballots; all of these violate election law.
At the center of the controversy is Florida’s Senate race, with Republican Governor Rick Scott facing Democrat incumbent Senator Bill Nelson. On election night, Scott had been reported as the winner by a razor-thin margin, although all of the votes had not yet been counted. As more votes have been counted, Scott has seen his lead shrink. He stated, “Late Tuesday night, our win was projected to be around 57,000 votes. By Wednesday morning, that lead dropped to 38,000. By Wednesday evening, it was around 30,000. This morning, it was around 21,000. Now, it is 15,000.”
Not only has his lead shrank, but new ballots are coming from seemingly out of nowhere. He further stated, “On election night, Broward County said there were 634,000 votes cast. At 1 a.m. today, there were 695,700 ballots cast on election day. At 2:30 p.m. today, the number was up to 707,223 ballots cast on Election Day. And we just learned, that the number has increased to 712,840 ballots cast on Election Day. In Palm Beach County, there are 15,000 new votes found since election night.”
Two days after election day, Scott and the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) filed lawsuits against Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes and Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher. The suit against Snipes alleges that she has been “unwilling to disclose records revealing how many electors voted, how many ballots have been canvassed, and how many ballots remain to be canvassed.” The suit against Bucher alleges that she and her staff have not allowed either Republicans or impartial witnesses to monitor them as they review damaged and/or unreadable absentee ballots. In the suit, Scott and the NRSC allege that Bucher and her staff are handling damaged/unreadable ballots by simply making their own decisions about how the voters intended to vote. Clearly, that leaves the door open for subjectivity and the staff members’ own political motivations to interfere with the election.
Scott noted Snipes’s past issues with election law violations. “In 2016, Brenda Snipes’ office posted election results half an hour before polls closed – a violation of election law. That same year, her office was sued for leaving amendments off of ballots. In 2014, Brenda Snipes’ fellow Democrats accused her of individual and systemic breakdowns that made it difficult for voters to cast regular ballots. All Floridians should be concerned about that.”
Florida Senator Marco Rubio has launched a barrage of Twitter attacks on the election officials. In one tweet, he noted that Florida election law dictates that early votes must be reported within 30 minutes of the polls closing. He tweeted a picture containing bins of votes, allegedly waiting to be counted nearly two days after Election Day. He wrote, “Bay County was hit by a Cat 4 Hurricane just 4 weeks ago, yet managed to count votes & submit timely results. Yet over 41 hours after polls closed #Broward elections office is still counting votes?” In another Tweet, Rubio wrote: “Every other county, including neighboring Miami-Dade (which had 100k more votes cast) was able to canvass, tabulate & report to state by deadline. But #Broward still hasn’t finished & won’t disclose how many ballots are left.” He also retweeted a video allegedly showing ballots being transported in private vehicles and being transferred to a tractor trailer, presumably to be brought to Broward County Elections Department to be counted. This obviously violates chain of custody laws for maintaining validity and integrity in elections.
A recount seems likely, and this would not only affect the Senator race, but the gubernatorial race as well. Republican Ron DeSantis narrowly defeated Democrat Andrew Gillum. Gillum had conceded on election night, but is now considering rescinding that (in any case, it is symbolic and nonbinding). Additionally, the vote for state’s agricultural commissioner would be impacted by the recount.
Scott expressed his determination to uncover and eliminate all illicit acts that may have occurred during this election. In a press conference on Thursday, he stated, “I will not stand idly by while unethical liberals try to steal an election.”
As new information is revealed and more unethical actions come to light, it seems that this Florida election will be as wild and volatile as any hurricane that hits the state.
Candy Stallworth, an Empire State News staff writer, whipped her way through a doctoral education at the finest of American higher ed institutions, noting how unoriginal, inept, and annoying many of the schools’ professors were in their robotic attempts to maintain a politically correct narrative. BTW: she hates words like “narrative”, “optics”, and “gaffe.” Other than that, her turn-offs include non-masculine men, women who hate men, men who hate men, phonies, disloyal people, and overflowing garbage cans. She likes New England clam chowder better than Manhattan clam chowder, but prefers Manhattan to New England.
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