Update: Attorneys for Senator Bill Nelson’s campaign filed a lawsuit Tuesday afternoon seeking to extend the recount deadline.
According to Nelson’s campaign, he has argued that all local elections officials in Florida counties should be allowed all the time they need to finish the recount.
Democratic Senators Chuck Schumer (NY) and Bill Nelson (FL) demanded at a Tuesday press conference that Nelson’s GOP opponent, Florida Governor Rick Scott, recuse himself from the recount process that will determine the winner of their race.
“President Trump and Governor Scott seem dead set against counting every vote. Why? Because they’re worried that if every vote is counted, Bill Nelson will be reelected as Senator from the great state of Florida.
Trump and Scott are attempting to bully the election officials in Florida out of doing their jobs, in an attempt to win this election. It’s just plain wrong. It’s un-American. Attempts to bully, threaten and cajole officials into not counting every vote is a large and dangerous step away from the democracy we all cherish. Trump and Scott must stop now.” -Chuck Schumer
Sen. Chuck Schumer: "President Trump and Governor Scott seem dead set against counting every vote. Why? Because they're worried that if every vote is counted, Bill Nelson will be reelected." https://t.co/CFdzczE0fE pic.twitter.com/75ZtpOSl62
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) November 13, 2018
— Zach C. Cohen (@Zachary_Cohen) November 13, 2018
On Monday, Nelson accused Scott, of “using his power of governor to undermine the voting process,” and has called on Scott to “remove himself” from the recount process that will determine the winner of their race.
It’s “obvious that Scott cannot oversee this process in a fair and impartial way,” Nelson said in a two-minute video released by his campaign.
“And, thus, he should remove himself from any role in the recount process so the people can have confidence in the integrity of the election. Given his efforts to undermine the votes of Floridians, this is the only way that we can ensure that the people’s votes are protected.” –NBC News
“He’s stood on the steps of the governor’s mansion and tried to use the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate the Broward elections chief,” Nelson said. “He’s filed lawsuits to try to stop votes from being counted and to impound voting machines. The reason he’s doing these things is obvious: He’s worried when all the votes are counted, he’ll lose the election.”
A spokesperson for Scott responded to Nelson’s claims Monday, saying in a statement: “The recount is being managed by the individual and independent Supervisors of Elections in all 67 counties,” adding. “If Bill Nelson has an issue with the way the recount is being run, he should take it up with them.”
Scott’s filed several lawsuits against Broward and Palm Beach County election officials last week, demanding in one that law enforcement seize and safeguard voting machines and ballots “when they are not in use,” after claims of potential malfeasance. On Monday, Scott dropped that motion after a judge said he could find no evidence for the improper activities that would justify doing so.
In another complaint, Scott accused Broward County Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes of counting ballots after the Saturday noon deadline. The campaign is filing two other lawsuits against Snipes and Palm Beach County Elections Supervisor Susan Buchner asking that the election equipment be seized when not being used for recounts, which were ordered by Florida’s secretary of state on Saturday. Recounts were ordered in Scott’s senate race against Nelson and Democrat Andrew Gillum’s narrow loss to Republican Ron DeSantis, as well as in the race for Florida Agriculture Commissioner. In the lawsuits, Scott asked that both supervisors be required to preserve all ballots and records connected with the 2018 election. Suspicious voting patterns have been detected in Broward County as more than 20,000 ballots left the lines for governor blank while voting in down ballot races.
Scott has accused Nelson of wanting fraudulent ballots and those cast by noncitizens to count – noting that Nelson’s lawyers objected to a provisional ballot being rejected in Palm Beach which was cast by a noncitizen.
— Arthur Schwartz (@ArthurSchwartz) November 10, 2018
As we reported Saturday, Broward County Supervisor of Elections, Brenda Snipes, missed a court ordered 7PM Friday deadline to allow for the immediate inspection of mysteriously found ballots.
The court was asked to intervene in a tight race for US Senate between Democratic incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson and Republican Gov. Rick Scott, after tens of thousands of ballots mysteriously appeared in Broward County, and another 15,000 in Palm Beach.
Lawyers for Snipes have argued that such a quick response would interfere with the count, while Rep. Bill Nelson has accused Republicans of trying to deny him a seat which he believes he will keep once all the votes are counted.