Elections in Florida are not over, even though the voting portion of the midterms concluded this past Tuesday night. Three statewide races are headed towards an apparent recount, including two that have been so close the recounts will likely be carried out by hand. Outgoing Republican Governor and Senatorial hopeful Rick Scott has challenged the vote counting process as supposedly ripe for fraud, and Democrat Andrew Gillum, who had been running to replace Scott, has made his own position clear.
He issued a statement via social media:
‘Mr. @FLGovScott — counting votes isn’t partisan — it’s democracy. Count every vote.’
Thursday night, Scott announced that he was suing elections authorities in south Florida, since late counted votes from Broward and Palm Beach counties are in large part responsible for the tiny margins.
Standing outside the Florida governor’s mansion, he railed:
‘I will not sit idly by while unethical liberals try to steal this election.’
President Donald Trump has backed Scott up in his assertions of possible fraud, reiterating the claims on Twitter and when speaking to reporters Friday at the White House. When pressed, though, about whether there was evidence of a particular claim of voter fraud in Arizona (a claim also driven by the GOP), Trump told reporter Peter Alexander:
‘I don’t know; you tell me.’
Trump claims election fraud, tells me, “There’s a lot of crooked stuff going on.”
But when I press him whether there’s any evidence, he deflects: “I don’t know. You tell me.” pic.twitter.com/yuUdht573r
— Peter Alexander (@PeterAlexander) November 9, 2018
As Gillum indicates, there’s no reason to believe that any partisan considerations are at play in the ongoing vote counting process, despite the fact that Scott is so paranoid he filed a lawsuit.
At present, Gillum sits around 36,000 votes behind Republican challenger Ron DeSantis, which translates to an around 0.4 percent losing margin — and is under the state mandated 0.5 threshold for a recount. Gillum has offered a concession speech, but his campaign has since acknowledged that they’re keeping a close eye on the proceedings.
Incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson has taken an a perhaps more active step, hiring Democratic lawyer Marc Elias in his bid to hang onto his U.S. Senate seat. He trails Rick Scott at present by around 15,000 votes — which translates to an around 0.2 percent margin and is under the state mandated 0.25 percent threshold for a hand recount.
Democrat Nikki Fried is the most successful candidate for statewide office so far, having pulled ahead of Republican challenger Matt Caldwell by just under 3,000 votes — which leaves their race also poised for a hand recount.
Featured Image via YouTube screenshot