Sunday, 25 August, 2019

Florida recount: Judge rebuffs vote fraud claims

Florida Gov. Rick Scott center speaks at a campaign rally in Orlando on Sept. 18. Associated Press  John Raoux file Florida Gov. Rick Scott center speaks at a campaign rally in Orlando on Sept. 18. Associated Press John Raoux file
Patty Aguilar | 13 November, 2018, 12:21

State elections and law enforcement officials say they have seen no evidence suggesting the allegations are true. Some counties started Sunday, while others will start later this week.

The drama, which has included dueling lawsuits and unsubstantiated allegations of electoral fraud, has evoked memories of the state's 2000 presidential vote recount where the victor of the White House hung in the balance for weeks before the U.S. Supreme Court stopped the counting and Republican George W. Bush triumphed over Democrat Al Gore.

The president tweeted early Monday morning that the elections should be called in favor of Republican Gov. Rick Scott, who's challenging Democratic Sen.

Meanwhile, 2,500 miles away, Arizona continued to count ballots and Democrat Kyrsten Sinema's lead grew over Republican Martha McSally to more than 30,000 votes, reversing the election night gap that put Ms. McSally on top.

The margin of difference in votes between Gillum and Republican opponent Ron DeSantis is less than 34,000. Scott is suing two counties and Nelson has responded with his own suits.

The matter comes to the forefront Monday as all 67 counties launch into a machine recount of three statewide elections, including that for Florida's U.S. Senate seat, in which Nelson trails Republican Gov. Rick Scott by just over 12,000 votes out of 8.2 million cast in the election.

In Georgia, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams vowed to stay in the race against Republican Brian Kemp until every ballot is counted.

"Voter disenfranchisement doesn't just show up when you have a man or a woman blocking the entrance to a polling place, or a dog, or a water hose", said Gillum, who would become the state's first African-American governor if the recount tips his way. And he filed another on Saturday to block the chief elections official in Broward Count from submitting votes that were tallied after noon on Saturday, which was the deadline to submit unofficial vote counts to the state. "We feel (the precinct scanners) give the most accurate result in that recount".

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From a distant glance, the recounts might dredge up memories of the 2000 presidential recount, when it took more than five weeks for Florida to declare George W. Bush the victor over Vice President Al Gore by 537 votes, thus giving Bush the presidency. Bill Nelson, and former GOP Rep. Ron DeSantis in his bid for governor over Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum.

In a video statement, Nelson said Scott is "using his power as governor to try to undermine the voting process", as he called on him to remove himself from the recount.

In Broward, the recount process began at 7 a.m. Sunday with officials recalibrating the machines that count the votes and performing a series of logic and accuracy tests.

"I think it ought to cause the people of Florida to be concerned that the governor is not thinking clearly in executing his authority as governor, and that he is being clouded by his desire as a candidate to prevail in the election", Elias said.

"Dr. Snipes has taken multiple measures to make sure that the election machines and ballots are in safe keeping", Pettis said. "We've won", Mr. Scott said on "Fox News Sunday".

A massive Trump 2020 flag flew over the parking lot and many members of a Bikers For Trump group wore matching shirts and carried flags, mingling among a crowd that included a protester wearing a Hillary Clinton mask. "I've had to win this election twice now".

Much has changed since then. Snipes has said any additional mailed ballots that were tabulated after Election Day were counted in compliance with the law.

He said that if the judge had ordered the machines impounded, the step would fuel conspiracy theories about vote-rigging and would still not satisfy the many demonstrators who are protesting the conduct of the vote count.

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