On Friday, Florida Judge Carol-Lisa Phillips ruled in favor of Florida Governor Rick Scott, who was ahead in votes in his race for the Senate seat held by incumbent Democratic Senator Bill Nelson when the polls closed Tuesday night, and had filed suit along with the National Republican Senatorial Committee against Broward County election supervisor Brenda Snipes in order to force her to release public records surrounding the votes in Broward County. The lawsuit stated that Snipes was “unwilling to disclose records revealing how many electors voted, how many ballots have been canvassed, and how many ballots remain to be canvassed.”
The lawsuit stated:
Voting in the 2018 General Election concluded November 6, 2018. Two days after voting has concluded, the Supervisor Of Elections is unwilling to disclose records revealing how many electors voted, how many ballots have been canvassed, and how many ballots remain to be canvassed. The lack of transparency raises substantial concerns about the validity of the election process. An emergency hearing is necessary as the Canvassing Board is obligated to submit the unofficial elections results to the Division of Elections by noon November 10, 2018. A recount in at least two, possibly three, of the statewide races appears likely. Plaintiffs seek an immediate, emergency hearing of this matter pursuant to section 119.11, Florida Statutes; an Order from this Court declaring Defendants to be in breach of their constitutional and statutory duties to permit access to public records; and an Order from this Court compelling Defendants to provide Plaintiffs with access to those records.
The judge found that Snipes, the Broward Supervisor of Elections, violated public records act and the Florida constitution, and must provide public records requested by Scott and NRSC.
Snipes must hand over the voting records by 7 p.m. EST on Friday.
On Thursday, Scott spoke to reporters, and he pointed out what was going on:
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. 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. 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.
Scott told Fox News’ Sean Hannity: "We don't know how many votes they're gonna come up with. But it sure appears they're going to try to come up with as many votes as it takes to win this election. I’ve asked the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to immediately do an investigation. We’ve filed lawsuits. We're gonna fight this, and we're gonna win."