Palm Beach Elections Supervisor, Under Fire, Plays The Race Card Against Rick Scott

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Palm Beach Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher, reacting to claims from Florida Governor Rick Scott that the Palm Beach and Broward County Supervisors of Elections had violated federal and state laws by failing to provide information to officials, responded by playing the race card, limning Scott and those who support his efforts as racists.

Bucher snapped, “It is very unfortunate that some of the highest elected officials in our country are trying to disrupt our democracy because they don’t like the demographics of our voters. I would wish that they would allow us to continue to count the ballots. We’re just doing our job in accordance with law.”

Asked how the actions of the GOP were disrupting her, she answered, “It’s not disrupting me; it’s disrupting the public.”

Asked to clarify, she responded, “I’m not going to clarify. The demographics of our county, they don’t like ‘em, and you know why. That’s all I have to say.”

Bucher served as an aide to Democratic Florida state Rep. Ed Healey. After he died of a brain hemorrhage, Bucher ran in a special election to replace him and won. Later, she ran for the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections and won.

Terri Parker of WPBF reported that lawyers for Scott told Marx on Friday that Bucher’s staff was duplicating damaged ballots without the required witnesses present. Bucher’s lawyers argued that Bucher’s staff had each other as witnesses. Miller said Marx stated that she wasn’t sure that’s what “witnesses” meant, but said the counting was over so she let it go. Marx apparently found it a problem that Bucher’s staff did not forward ballots to the canvassing board to decide if they were under or over votes. Marx ordered Bucher to turn over the staff-rejected or decided ballots by 10 a.m. Saturday and to turn over a list of all provisional ballots to the Democratic Party by the end of the day Friday.

But late on Friday, Bucher said it was impossible for her to meet the 10 a.m. Saturday deadline imposed by Marx; she claimed the ballots on which her staff made decisions had already been mixed back in with all the regular ballots and it would be impossible to separate them out and still meet the state certification by Saturday. She asked Marx for reconsideration and an emergency hearing on Saturday.

On Friday, Judge Carol-Lisa Phillips ruled in favor of Scott, who also 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.” Phillips 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.

Video of Bucher below:

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