The extremely thin Florida Senate race sparked a full-fledged pro-fighter war on Friday as Democrats called for a judicial recount and Republicans – including President Trump – accused local election officials of skewing the results.
Republicans have not brought any evidence that fraud was causing a decrease in the advance in the highly democratic Broward County, South Florida, where counting still unfinished votes by mail and provisional ballots narrowed. .
The margin should trigger a recount of the ballots, which could begin as early as Saturday in the state counties. But it also sparked an uproar on the part of Republicans.
"Rick Scott had over 50,000 votes on polling day, and today they have" found "a lot of votes and he has only 15,000 votes," Trump said on Twitter. "The Broward effect, how is it that they never find Republican voices?"
In addition, protesters went to the sidewalks in front of Lauderhill County Election Offices to demand the removal of Brenda Broward, the Broward election supervisor, Brenda Snipes, who has been charged over the last 10 years with a lawsuit. electoral mismanagement.
"It's a crowd scene," said William Scherer, a Republican lawyer representing Scott who had worked for George W. Bush in the recount during the 2000 presidential elections. "It's like already seen again . "
A Nelson lawyer, Marc Elias, said Friday in a call to reporters that the ongoing campaign in Broward and elsewhere in Florida was a "feature, not a flaw, of our democratic system" to ensure that all valid votes are accounts. He accused Republicans of falsely claiming electoral fraud simply because the margin had changed.
"The advance represents just over 15,000 votes now, which seemed to get the governor to hold an impromptu press conference to recognize the narrowing margin," said Elias.
Both campaigns filed suit Thursday. Scott accused the Palm Beach County and Broward County election officials of fraud, but did not present any evidence beyond Scott's procedural errors and decreasing voting margin.
Nelson's complaint seeks to reconsider the mail ballots and provisional ballots when the signatures on the ballots do not match the voter registrations. In Georgia last week, a federal judge ordered local election officials to stop voting because of signing problems.
Scott's campaign hit the suit. "Their desperation has pushed them to ask the federal courts to authorize election fraud," said Jackie Schutz Zeckman, Scott's campaign manager. "They are asking the courts to override the election officers and accept ballots that have not been voted on.
But voters have complained about the abusive rejection of their ballot. One of them was Patrick Murphy, the former Democratic Congressman from Palm Beach, who tweeted, "I just read to @PBCounty that my ballot was not counted because of the "invalid signature" match. Should be +1 @NelsonForSenate @AndrewGillum. Must rethink these ridiculous barriers to voting. "
In the Senate race, Scott had a lead of just over 16,000 votes, or 0.19 percent, on Friday afternoon on Nelson 's afternoon, according to the Associated Press. In the run for the governor, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum (D) beat former Congressman Ron DeSantis (R) by over 36,000 votes, or 0.45%.
Under Florida law, an automatic state-wide recount is performed when the margin of victory is less than 0.5% and a manual recount is ordered if the margin is less than 0.25%.
This is not the first time that Broward County and Snipes are at the center of a controversy over the count of votes. Broward has been the scene of some of the most controversial debates about "chads hanging" and other irregularities in the ballots that determined the outcome of the 2000 presidential struggle between George W. Bush and Al Gore.
In the 2004 presidential election, Snipes accused the US postal service of losing 58,000 mail ballots and later announced that only 6,000 ballots had disappeared. Postal officials claimed that they had done nothing wrong. Next, the Snipes office left 2400 blank postal ballots to voters. departure at the post office on a Saturday before the elections, after the factors have already disappeared for the day.
And in 2016, Democratic Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz faced the main challenge of a Bernie Sanders-supported candidate, Tim Canova, in the 23rd district of Florida. Canova sued the election officials at Broward and asked to inspect the physical ballots during the race. Snipes was accused of destroying physical ballots while retaining digital copies during the trial – a violation of federal law requiring congressional ballots to be kept for 22 months after an election.
Lori Rozsa in Lauderhill, Florida, contributed to this report.