So Gov. Voldemort (R. FL) is already acting like he’s officially U.S. Senator Voldemort (R. FL):
But as Vanity Fair points out, he’s trying to act like he won a recount he’s trying to kill:
The odds that Nelson can flip the race are indeed slim. Election workers have only until 3 P.M. on Thursday to finish recounting votes in the Scott-Nelson race, as well as the gubernatorial race between Republican Ron DeSantis and Democrat Andrew Gillum. That’s a small window of time to close the gap in both races. (The election of DeSantis, in particular, appears to be a foregone conclusion.) If they can’t finish in time, Florida law mandates that the elections default back to the results from election night. But after Democrat Kyrsten Sinema unexpectedly pulled ahead to win a Senate seat in Arizona, Scott’s D.C. trip reeks of desperation. Florida, after all, is a notoriously weird state—recall the surreality of the 2000 Bush-Gore race, if you dare—and infamously incompetent when it comes to conducting elections.
Republicans from Florida Senator Marco Rubio to President Donald Trump have been accusing Florida officials in left-leaning counties of everything from light corruption to outright fraud as Democrats “find” more and more votes for Nelson. But the real problem appears to be quintessential Florida-style ineptitude. As the results narrowed last Tuesday, pollsters and analysts discovered that 3.7 percent of voters in Broward County who voted in the governor’s race did not vote in the Senate race, likely because of a poorly designed ballot. Former questions about the competency of Election Supervisors Susan Bucher and Brenda Snipes—particularly Snipes, who was successfully sued for removing a ballot amendment, and punished in 2016 for destroying ballots too soon—gave the Republicans an opening to question the race’s legitimacy. (”[If] you look at the person, in this case a woman, involved, she has had a horrible history,” Trump said last week.) Miami officials had to debunk claims that pallets full of ballots were going uncounted, held by nefarious forces to influence the election. (It didn’t help that small numbers of uncounted ballots did pop up in unexpected places.) And on Tuesday, in the middle of a machine recount of hundreds of thousands of early ballots in Palm Beach County, their voting machines overheated and died, forcing the county to re-start its recount of about 175,000 votes. “[It] appears that royally messing up U.S. elections has become a Florida pastime, and the Sunshine State has finally gone too far,” David von Drehle, a former Miami Herald reporter, wrote for The Washington Post. “We’re trying to save democracy, Florida. Please stop screwing around.”
And yet, the screwing continues in earnest. Scott has filed no less than five lawsuits since last week, including one asking a Florida court to block Broward County from including ballots not counted in the unofficial returns, and two demanding that the voting machines in Broward and Palm Beach counties be impounded—a request that a federal judge denied. His campaign has declared that he will not recuse himself from the recount, and that “he’s not going to lose unless they steal it from him in court.” Nelson and the Democrats, meanwhile, have filed multiple lawsuits of their own seeking to extend the deadline for counting the first round of balloting, and challenging a provision that would examine whether voters filled in bubbles correctly. A third suit accuses several county election supervisors of not complying with laws requiring the preservation of digital scans of ballots. (A fourth lawsuit, filed by Common Cause Florida and League of Women Voters of Florida, would prevent Scott from having a role in the recount.)
U.S. Chief Judge Mark Walker issued a preliminary injunction this morning in a lawsuit filed by U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson over ballots thrown out because of mismatched signatures — declaring a state law unconstitutional and offering a middle path to give voters a few days to correct their ballots.
“The precise issue in this case is whether Florida’s law that allows county election officials to reject vote-by-mail and provisional ballots for mismatched signatures — with no standards, an illusory process to cure, and no process to challenge the rejection — passes constitutional muster,” Walker said. “The answer is simple. It does not.”
The ruling is a victory for Nelson as he tries to narrow the almost 13,000 vote margin between him and Gov. Rick Scott in a razor-thin Senate race that is currently the subject of multiple lawsuits and is undergoing a machine recount, which will likely progress to a hand recount.
“Today’s decision is a victory for the people of Florida and for the Nelson campaign as we pursue our goal of making sure every legal ballot is counted,' Marc Elias, Nelson's lead recount lawyer, said in a news release. “The court’s ruling impacts thousands of ballots, and that number will likely increase as larger counties like Broward add their ballots to the total pool which can be cured. We are taking several steps to ensure the rights of every Floridian are protected, and this is one major step forward.”
After Walker's order was filed, the National Republican Senatorial Committee filed a notice of appeal to the 11th Circuit.
It's unknown how many discarded ballots are at stake, but it's at least 3,688, elections officials said.
One new lawsuit seeks to extend statewide machine and manual recounts beyond the “extraordinarily compressed” deadlines of Nov. 15 and Nov. 18. The lawsuit says existing state deadlines are “arbitrary and unrealistic,” and will result in some ballots being recounted once, others twice and others three times.
A second lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of a voter intent standard in the state law that will be used to review undervotes and overvotes in the upcoming manual recounts in the races for Senate and agriculture commissioner.
The law includes a consistency provision that requires voters to display a pattern of similar markings in different races, which Democrats oppose.
“That makes no sense,” said Marc Elias, Nelson's recount lawyer. “And it's not constitutional. We can't deny people a right to vote because they chose to put X's in some ovals, circle some names or fill in some names.”
Several hundred thousands of those ballots will be reviewed manually by canvassing boards across the state.
Yet another lawsuit filed Tuesday by Democratic lawyers accuses multiple county supervisors of elections of refusing to preserve digital electronic ballot images as state law requires. Several Florida voters are named as plaintiffs and the defendants include more than a dozen supervisors, including those in Pinellas, Hillsborough and Pasco counties.
Meanwhile, Republicans like this clown, are trying to discredit Nelson:
Yeah, fuck you, Jeb. Here’s where we are currently at with the recount:
In Broward, where the machine recount has ended, officials needed to duplicate fewer than 400 damaged ballots and run them back through a machine before announcing its new tally. The manual recount expected in the Senate race would begin 7 a.m. Friday.
There will be 100 tables set up, with two election workers, two campaign representatives, and two party representatives at each table, according to instructions distributed by election officials. Only the election workers are allowed to handle ballots while wearing gloves.
The recount is scheduled for 11-hour days Friday and Saturday, with two 30-minute breaks each day. The deadline is noon Sunday.
“The table participant stays all day,” the instructions say. And that is not the only rule for volunteers working the recount: No phones at the tables. No pencils or pens. No food or beverages. Hands must be lotion- and oil-free in case of accidental contact with ballots. Activists for both parties quip that they are scouting for volunteers willing to go for hours without snacking or moisturizing.
Meanwhile, a state judge in Hillsborough County has ruled in Scott’s favor to allow his campaign’s monitors into the room where the recount is taking place. And Nelson’s campaign, along with state Democrats, filed a lawsuit Wednesday requesting to inspect records in Bay County, where the election supervisor has said that in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael, he let voters submit ballots electronically, an apparent violation of state law.
More courtroom drama was coming Thursday: Hearings were scheduled in state court in Broward County in two lawsuits Republicans filed against Broward elections supervisor Brenda Snipes, one of them over 25 ballots that were counted after the first unofficial returns were reported to the state.
The Senate race will determine the size of the GOP’s majority in 2019 and shape the power structure in the nation’s largest swing state. Together, the two sides have racked up at least 10 lawsuits trying to gain a legal advantage in the recount.
I urge you all to get involved with Nelson’s recount efforts. Click here to get involved with his campaign.
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