Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The Buzz

on Florida Politics

Closer and closer: Scott leads by .18 percent, DeSantis by .44

Three statewide elections in Florida are all close enough to require machine recounts, and two of them would require hand recounts of ballots, based on the latest results posted by the state Friday.

With Broward still counting early and mail ballots and Palm Beach County still counting mail ballots, Gov. Rick Scott holds a lead of .18 percent over Sen. Bill Nelson, or 15,074 votes.

Republican Ron DeSantis holds a lead of .44 percent over Democrat Andrew Gillum in the election for governor, or 36,211 votes.

Democrat Nikki Fried clings to a lead of .04 percent over Republican Matt Caldwell in the race for the Cabinet post of agriculture commissioner, or 2,915 votes.

Scott, President Donald Trump, Sen. Marco Rubio and Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel all took to Twitter to blast the performance of Broward Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes.

Standing on the steps of the Governor's Mansion Thursday night, Scott accused Snipes and Palm Beach election supervisor Susan Bucher, both Democrats, of trying to steal the election.

He cited past missteps by Snipes, all of them widely reported, but offered no evidence of election fraud, and ordered the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate Snipes.

FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen was personally chosen by Scott in 2015, even though the appointment is subject to approval by the three elected Cabinet members.

Without elaboration, Scott told reporters: "I am considering every single legal option available."

Scott can suspend Snipes or Bucher from office, but he has to cite evidence of malfeasance, misfeasance, neglect of duty or incompetence. If that happens, Scott would appoint an interim elections supervisor.

Scott appeared on Sean Hannity's show on Fox Thursday night. Scott essentially repeated the same points he made earlier at the Governor's Mansion, and Hannity told Scott: "It is obviously corrupt. Obviously laws were broken … You won this race hands down. This is a disgrace."

Across the state, county canvassing boards will meet Friday to continue counting and rejecting provisional ballots. All counties have until noon Saturday to submit their first unofficial returns to Secretary of State Ken Detzner, who decides whether any or all of the three races meet the legal threshold for a machine recount.

Some counties are ready to start the machine recounts. In a conference call Thursday, they asked the state if they could begin the recounts now to save time.

'That's a great question," Division of Elections director Maria Matthews said. "The answer is no."

Comments
Bill Nelson and Democrats file three new election lawsuits

Bill Nelson and Democrats file three new election lawsuits

The legal workload is rapidly multiplying for judges in federal court in Tallahassee.
Updated: 1 hour ago
Broward finally begins its recount as new lawsuits seek to extend deadline

Broward finally begins its recount as new lawsuits seek to extend deadline

As Broward County began to recount ballots from the midterm elections, candidates filed new lawsuits seeking to extend the deadline for the process
Updated: 1 hour ago
Will Gov. Rick Scott certify an election that he claims is fraudulent? He won’t say.

Will Gov. Rick Scott certify an election that he claims is fraudulent? He won’t say.

The Elections Canvassing Commission is set to meet Tuesday. Sen. Bill Nelson is saying he should recuse himself from it.
Updated: 1 hour ago
Palm Beach County gets recount extension from judge

Palm Beach County gets recount extension from judge

The online docket suggests a Tallahassee judge entered an order Tuesday afternoon “suspending certain deadlines.” The judge, Karen Gievers, also allowed Sen. Bill Nelson, who is locked in a tight race for his Senate seat with Gov. Rick Scott , to intervene in the case.
Updated: 2 hours ago
Rick Scott’s campaign sues Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections

Rick Scott’s campaign sues Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections

The campaign is alleging that election observers were forced to watch recounts from another room.
Updated: 2 hours ago
Brenda Snipes says ‘it is time to move on’

Brenda Snipes says ‘it is time to move on’

Her current term runs through 2020.
Updated: 6 hours ago
Broward County elections chief Brenda Snipes talks about not running again

Broward County elections chief Brenda Snipes talks about not running again

In comments Tuesday, she tells reporters “it is time to move on” from the position she has held for 15 years.
Updated: 7 hours ago
FDLE commissioner to Pam Bondi: I’m ‘deeply troubled’ you think I wouldn’t investigate voter fraud

FDLE commissioner to Pam Bondi: I’m ‘deeply troubled’ you think I wouldn’t investigate voter fraud

Commissioner Rick Swearingen wrote a one-page reply to Bondi's Sunday letter criticizing him for not investigating Gov. Rick Scott's unfounded claims of voter fraud.
Updated: 8 hours ago
William March: Does Hattersley victory signal inroads for Democrats in east Hillsborough?

William March: Does Hattersley victory signal inroads for Democrats in east Hillsborough?

The district includes some of the same turf once represented by conservative firebrand Ronda Storms, who tried for a comeback this year but lost in a primary to Joe Wicker.
Updated: 8 hours ago
Broward has started recounting its ballots. Can it make the Thursday deadline?

Broward has started recounting its ballots. Can it make the Thursday deadline?

The elections operations coordinator has confidence.
Updated: 8 hours ago