Tuesday, April 23, 2019
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Recounting in the Senate and Governor's Rallies of Florida in response to the 2000 presidential election

While Democratic counties in South Florida moved to show election results after a Saturday, Republican Rick Scott shrank against Democrat Bill Nelson in the US Senate to just 12,562 votes from nearly 8.2 million votes.

The total number of polls on Saturday showed margins in the marquee race in the country's largest battlefield state at 0.015 percent, close enough to trigger a recount by machine. This threshold also reached the race for the governor between Democrat Andrew Gillum and Republican Ron DeSantis, who has a slightly larger cushion with 33,684 votes over Gillum.

In the counties of Broward and Palm Beach on Saturday morning, lawyers from both parties were arguing over electoral votes where the voter's intent or voting eligibility was in doubt when the minutes expired at midday. Scott's vote poll continued this week led to tightening protests reminiscent of the controversial elections of 2000, as well as allegations of "election theft" by President Trump.

Scott, also accused of fraud, used his bully pulpit on Saturday to encourage the Florida sheriffs to keep an eye out for violations of electoral law.

However, the presidential and governor's allegations were undercut by the Florida Department of State on Saturday, which stated that "there is currently no evidence of criminal activity." The election monitoring department had sent two observers to vote on Tuesday in Broward County as a result of a lawsuit for mistreating ballots in a congressional race in 2016.

A State Department spokeswoman, Sarah Revell, said the observers had been sent to "monitor the election administration and visit the place of election as needed, as well as watch the preparation of electoral equipment and procedures." The observers have done this, the vote count continued to be monitored this week.

Nelson has accused Scott of using the power of his ministry to try to secure the victory of his Senate. Earlier this week, the governor called for the enforcement of state law enforcement agencies to investigate voting in South Florida, an investigation that the state has rejected so far because the US Department of State has not blamed fraud.

Under Florida law, a nationwide recount of machines is made when the profit margin is less than 0.5 percent, and a manual recount is ordered if the profit margin is less than 0.25 percent. The governor's race does not seem to match the manual recount.

Manual recount is defined as "manual recalculation of overriding and subclaims reserved for machine recounting". These are mainly ballots where voters skipped a race or voted for two candidates in a race.

Officials of both parties focused primarily on Brenda Snipes, who is the polling station in Broward County, the second largest county of Forida, the site of the "hanging cadres" and other voting irregularities during the 2000 presidential election.

In a short interview Snipes wiped the criticism. "It's kind of like a hurricane, where things really get churned up for a while and then go away," she said. "I do not know when this will pass, but it will happen."

The fight is also taking place at the national level, as Scott Senator Lindsey O. Graham's campaign (R-S.C.) caused him to complain in a call to reporters about the counting of votes. He compared the situation in Florida with the controversial affirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh.

Graham encouraged Scott to come to Washington next week to orient himself for new senators, regardless of the recount. "If the recount goes, the recount goes," Graham said.

Scott Campaign Manager Jackie Schutz Zeckman said the governor's team is still working on his schedule.

Sean Sullivan contributed to this report.


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