The Florida Department of State (DoS) last week has asked federal prosecutors to investigate official election documents with the dates changed, which the department says can be tied to the Florida Democratic Party, according to Politico.
The concerns, which the department says can be tied to the Florida Democratic Party, center around date changes on forms used to fix vote-by-mail ballots sent with incorrect or missing information. Known as “cure affidavits,” those documents used to fix mail ballots were due no later than 5 p.m. on Nov. 5 — the day before the election. But affidavits released on Tuesday by the DOS show that documents from four different counties said the ballots could be returned by 5 p.m. on Thursday, which is not accurate. -Politico
Unsurprisingly, one of the counties under scrutiny is Broward - which is now conducting no less than six recounts, after the results of three statewide races and three local legislative races have been called into question amid mysteriously found ballots and lingering questions over the chain of custody governing the proper handling of voting materials.
Republicans are pointing to Broward Elections chief Brenda Snipes' dubious history of election gaffes, with many suggesting that she is rigging the election in favor of Democratic candidates.
That said, the Florida DoS has repeatedly insisted that their employees sent to observe the Broward election process have seen no evidence of election fraud - waiting until Tuesday to acknowledge that it had turned over information to federal prosecutors last week. On Nov. 9, DoS interim general counsel, Bradley McVay, asked that the altered dates be investigated.
"Altering a form in a manner that provides the incorrect date for a voter to cure a defect … imposes a burden on the voter significant enough to frustrate the voter’s ability to vote," said McVay in his Nov. 9 letter sent to US Attorneys Christopher Canova of the Northern District of Florida, Maria Chapa Lopez of the Middle District of Florida and Ariana Fajardo Orshan in the Southern District of Florida.
In recently released emails, one voter reports receiving a call from the Democratic Party after she was sent a cure affidavit with the wrong date.
The records released by DOS, which is part of Gov. Rick Scott’s administration, point the finger at the Florida Democratic Party. Political parties can get daily lists of people who had their mail-in ballots rejected. Political parties — or anyone else — can also get the publicly available cure affidavits and send them to voters who had a mail-in ballot rejected to encourage them to fix the ballots.
In an email chain released as part of the Department of State's Tuesday document dump, Citrus County Supervisor of Elections Susan Gill last week told DOS officials that a voter who received one of the cure affidavits with the wrong date had also received a call from a number identified as the Tallahassee office of the Florida Democratic Party, an indication the party was reaching out about her vote by mail ballot.
"When I called it, it is the Democratic Party of Florida," she said in a Nov. 8 email to DOS officials. -Politico
The woman said that she think the incorrect date was used since whoever sent the cure affidavit swapped the deadline for cure affidavits with the deadline for provisional ballots. "a bigger problem is the fact they actually changed one of the DOE forms," she said.
In a different email, Okaloosa County Supervisor of Elections, Paul Lux, said he believed that the affidavits came from the Florida Democratic Party.
"Please pass the word to the FDP that they can't arbitrarily add their own deadline to your form or VBM cures!!," Lux emailed to DoS officials on Nov. 9, adding "This is crazy!"
In a Tuesday interview with POLITICO, Lux said he received an email from someone sending a cure affidavit marked with the wrong date that included a Florida Democratic Party email address. The email does contain the email address votes@FloridaDems.org, which is associated with the party. -Politico
A spokeswoman for the Florida Democratic Party brushed off the issue - claiming that the Scott administration's election office is using it as a distraction.
"The courts have already forced Rick Scott to drop a lawsuit after false claims of fraud, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement rejected his desperate attempts to interfere with the important work of counting ballots," said Caroline Rowland in an email to Politico. "Now, Scott is once again trying to divert attention and resources from a smooth and successful recount."