Is Florida gearing up for Bush vs. Gore redux?
It's starting to look that way.
As Fox News reports, lawyers are arriving in Democratic strongholds in Florida as the state prepares for a recount in Broward County, the epicenter of the vote-counting controversy that led to Bush vs. Gore, and Palm Beach County. Both are Democratic strongholds that have been extremely slow to deliver final ballot totals for Tuesday's election.
To try and push for a hand recount, defeated incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson has hired Democratic attorney Marc Elias of law firm Perkins Coie to help plead his case and point out suspicious "inconsistencies" with the vote count in Broward, where more than 20,000 voters voted in down-ballot races but left out their votes for governor's race, in which Nelson's Democratic ally, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, has already conceded to Republican Ron DeSantis.
The controversy has already attracted the attention of President Trump, who in a series of tweets Friday afternoon warned that Democrats were dispatching attorneys, including their best "election stealing lawyer," to try and rig the vote after earlier hinting that he might authorize a federal investigation
You mean they are just now finding votes in Florida and Georgia – but the Election was on Tuesday? Let’s blame the Russians and demand an immediate apology from President Putin!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 9, 2018
As soon as Democrats sent their best Election stealing lawyer, Marc Elias, to Broward County they miraculously started finding Democrat votes. Don’t worry, Florida - I am sending much better lawyers to expose the FRAUD!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 9, 2018
Rick Scott was up by 50,000+ votes on Election Day, now they “found” many votes and he is only up 15,000 votes. “The Broward Effect.” How come they never find Republican votes?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 9, 2018
Mayor Gillum conceded on Election Day and now Broward County has put him “back into play.” Bill Nelson conceded Election - now he’s back in play!? This is an embarrassment to our Country and to Democracy!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 9, 2018
In the 2016 Election I was winning by so much in Florida that Broward County, which was very late with vote tabulation and probably getting ready to do a “number,” couldn’t do it because not enough people live in Broward for them to falsify a victory!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 9, 2018
Trump even praised his former political rival, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, for helping expose the possible corruption happening in Broward County, where boxes of what appear to be uncounted provisional ballots have been discovered at polling stations.
Thank you @marcorubio for helping to expose the potential corruption going on with respect to Election Theft in Broward and Palm Beach Counties. The WORLD is now watching closely!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 9, 2018
Rubio has highlighted a range of suspicious developments in Broward, including what appeared to be a mystery delivery of ballots. The senator has also criticized local officials for their molasses-like process of counting ballots in Florida's senate race.
Meanwhile, in a press conference held Thursday evening, Scott, who is also the outgoing governor, warned of "rampant fraud," and filed lawsuits against the top election officials in two heavily Democratic counties as they continue to report new votes.
Rubio pointed out in a tweet on Friday that Broward is violating state laws about the tallying and submission of vote totals from mail-in ballots.
Under #Florida law county must upload by 7 p.m. day BEFORE election ALL early votes canvassed & tabulated by end of early voting & report results within 30 minutes of polls close— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) November 9, 2018
60 hours after that deadline only 1 of 67 counties is still counting early votes, #BrowardCounty pic.twitter.com/oP7HdpZcTk
Rubio also pointed out that early voting in Broward County had ended "108 hours ago", and that the county wouldn't disclose "how many ballots are left."
Last night, Scott specifically called out elections supervisors in both counties, Brenda Snipes in Broward and Susan Bucher in Palm Beach.
"Late Tuesday night, our win was projected to be around 57,000 votes," Scott told reporters. "By Wednesday morning, that lead dropped to 38,000. By Wednesday evening, it was around 30,000. This morning, it was around 21,000. Now, it is 15,000."
He continued: "On election night, Broward County said there were 634,000 votes cast. At 1 a.m. today, there were 695,700 ballots cast on election day. At 2:30 p.m. today, the number was up to 707,223 ballots cast on Election Day. And we just learned, that the number has increased to 712,840 ballots cast on Election Day. In Palm Beach County, there are 15,000 new votes found since election night."
Snipes' behavior looks particularly suspect, considering that she has expressed a "personal animus" toward Gov. Scott? And also has a record of illegal and unethical behavior, including the illegal destruction of ballots.
How can anyone have confidence that the #BrowardCounty election supervisor will be fair when last night she made clear her personal animus toward Gov. Scott & towards the states top law enforcement agency when she claimed he “owns” the #Florida Department of Law Enforcement? https://t.co/K1lrwzRcnE— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) November 9, 2018
Not very comforting to #Florida voters that #BrowardCounty supervisor,in whose hands may rest outcome of Senate & cabinet race has in the past:— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) November 9, 2018
1. Illegally destroyed ballots
2. Secretly opened mail ballots
3. Sent voters too many ballot pages
4. Left const question off ballot
Of course, Florida isn't the only state where Democratic candidates are gaining ground in the vote tallies days after the election ended. In Arizona, Democrat Kirsten Sinema is now leading Republican Martha McSally in that state's senate race, which has yet to be officially called.
In a tweet sent late Friday afternoon, Trump cryptically warned of new evidence of election tampering in Arizona when he tweeted that "signatures don't match" on some of the ballots.
Just out — in Arizona, SIGNATURES DON’T MATCH. Electoral corruption - Call for a new Election? We must protect our Democracy!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 9, 2018
In Georgia, Democrat Stacey Abrams is gaining on Republican Brian Kemp in the governor's race. Whatever the outcome, it's increasingly looking like the final outcomes of some of these races won't be known for some time.