Florida Governor Rick Scott isn't playing games about what he describes as "rampant fraud" being conducted by "unethical liberals" in two deep-blue counties that "have been coming up with more and more ballots out of nowhere," despite Florida law requiring earlier reports and transparency about outstanding ballots.
Scott, who is locked in a tight race for U.S. Senate with incumbent Democrat Sen. Bill Nelson, filed lawsuits Thursday against the supervisors of elections in Broward County and Palm Beach County, Brenda Snipes and Susan Bucher, for "rampant fraud" and is calling on the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate their actions.
Scott currently leads Nelson by fewer than 22,000 votes. He once had a more sizable lead, but Broward County has continued to release more results while failing to adequately disclose their ballot counts. The margin, which is only 0.2 percent, has triggered an automatic machine recount required for results with a margin of less than 0.5 percent.
"Every day since the election the left-wing activists in Broward County have been coming up with more and more ballots out of nowhere," Scott told the press Thursday, ABC reports. "I will not sit idly by while unethical liberals try and steal this election from the great people of Florida," he added.
Scott's legal challenge has been joined by the National Republicans Senatorial Committee (NRSC), which likewise filed suits against both Snipes and Bucher.
Snipes has a history of violating voting laws, as the Sun Sentinel details (formatting adjusted):
The Broward County Supervisor of Elections Office violated state and federal laws by destroying ballots from a 2016 Congressional race too soon — and while the ballots were the subject of a lawsuit against the office, a judge has ruled. ... The decision stems from Canova’s bid to unseat Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz in the Democratic primary, a race he lost convincingly, at about 57 percent to 43 percent, or 28,809 votes to 21,907.
Canova, who was checking for voting irregularities in the race, sought to look at the paper ballots in March 2017 and took Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes to court three months later when her office hadn’t fulfilled his request. Snipes approved the destruction of the ballots in September, signing a certification that said no court cases involving the ballots were pending.
As a result, Snipes faced fines of over $200,000, and Florida’s Department of State was ordered to provide closer oversight over her office in the next election.
Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has also been sounding the alarm over the actions of the deep blue counties, particularly Broward County.
"[Snipes] says she doesn’t know how many ballots are left to be counted [and] isn’t reporting hourly or regularly, but rather releasing thousands of additional votes, often in the overnight hours, that are chipping away at GOP lead," Rubio wrote Tuesday in a series of tweets. "Now Democrat lawyers are descending on Florida. They have been very clear they aren’t here to make sure every vote is counted. They are here to change the results of election, [and] Broward is where they plan to do it."