As Tuesday night turned into Wednesday morning and the results began shaking out, it looked like Florida Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican, would hold on to a slim upset over incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson, a Democrat.
Then, in one of America’s most corrupt areas, 15,000 ballots suddenly appeared, as if by magic. And lo and behold, county officials won’t let party officials into the room while they’re being counted, a violation of the law.
“Scott says that 15,000 new votes were found in Palm Beach County, that had not been accounted for. In Broward County, Scott says that 78,840 additional election votes have been counted since polls closed,” WFTS-TV reported.
Now, Scott is suing over the ballot-counting practices. He’s also using his authority as governor to call on the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate.
In a speech, Scott noted that his lead has been shrinking since election night. What makes that suspicious, he says, is the appearance of new votes.
“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,” Scott said in a speech announcing the lawsuit. “At 2:30 pm 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,” he continued. “So, It has been over 48 hours since the polls closed and Broward and Palm Beach Counties are still finding and counting ballots — and the supervisors — Brenda Snipes and Susan Bucher — cannot seem to say how many ballots still exist or where these ballots came from, or where they have been.”
If you remember the name Brenda Snipes, there might be a good reason. She was named in a lawsuit involving a primary challenge to Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz in which she admitted to illegally destroyed ballots.
“Every Floridian should be concerned there may be rampant fraud happening in Palm Beach and Broward Counties. And the Broward Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes has a history of acting in bad faith,” Scott said.
In addition to that 2016 lawsuit, Scott also noted that there were other problems with Snipes’ record.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
Gov. Rick Scott & the NRSC are filing a public records lawsuit against Broward election supervisor Brenda Snipes for failing to provide them with information about outstanding ballots that have yet to be tabulated
The lawsuit comes as Scott’s margins are shrinking v. Sen Nelson pic.twitter.com/ZZunsV1bPP
— Marc Caputo (@MarcACaputo) November 9, 2018
And that’s just Broward County. Things aren’t much better in Palm Beach County.
“Palm Beach County is also refusing to provide information to the public,” Scott said. “And they are illegally refusing to allow official party representatives into the ballot counting area and forcing people to stand behind a glass wall with limited visibility and no ability to hear what is going on.
“This is a clear violation of Florida law — and we have just filed a lawsuit.”
Whether or not this will do anything about what’s going on in south Florida is anyone’s guess at this point. However, it’s rare to hear a sitting governor and someone who’s involved in a Senate race actually call voter irregularities fraud.
Given the history of fraud in south Florida, however — and the upcoming recount — it’s something every Floridian ought to be deeply concerned about.
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