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Florida Recount: Fireworks, but No Evidence of Voter Fraud

A press conference outside the Florida Supreme Court during the recount in the 2000 presidential election. (Village Square/Flickr)
A press conference outside the Florida Supreme Court during the recount in the 2000 presidential election. (Village Square/Flickr)
November 12, 2018

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Delays, mistakes, the addition of rejected absentee ballots, and now, technical malfunctions are all fueling a flurry of legal action in the statewide recount in three of Florida's biggest races.

Claiming possible fraud against election supervisors in Broward and Palm Beach counties, the Republican Party of Florida also accused Broward supervisor, Brenda Snipes, of "incompetence and gross mismanagement." Attorney Len Collins, who is representing the GOP in the state, said he sued the same office on behalf of a Democratic candidate when physical ballots were destroyed after the 2016 election and only digital copies were saved. The court ruled that violated state law.

Now in his role representing the Republicans, Collins said it's in everyone's best interest to ensure the process works according to the law.

"Above the politics, outside of any of this stuff, count fairly and you get a result. That's how that should work, without any of this stuff,” Collins said. “And it's just not, it's not working here. And it's not working in Palm Beach County, either. "

Collins spoke on The Rotunda Podcast.

Snipes said Saturday all ballots have been processed and she's addressing requests and questions as they come in. Both the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and Florida Department of State have said they've received no credible allegations of fraud or criminal activity.

In his bid for U.S. Senate, Gov. Rick Scott filed another suit on Sunday against Snipes, seeking to impound and secure all voting machines, tallying devices and ballots. The suit claims Snipes' office repeatedly failed to account for the number of ballots left, and Collins said he thinks the history of problems justifies the added scrutiny.

"Folks deserve to be able to trust that the elections process is fair and impartial, and treats everyone the same,” Collins said.

As Republicans urge their Democratic opponents to concede, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum and Sen. Bill Nelson have argued each vote should be counted. Groups such as the League of Women Voters and Common Cause are calling on Gov. Scott to recuse himself from decisions involving the Florida recounts because of his personal investment in one of the races.

Trimmel Gomes, Public News Service - FL