Rep. Matthew Gaetz (R-FL) sounded off Friday on “the banana republic of Broward County.”
How on Earth, he wondered, have 65 of Florida's 67 counties been able to competently count all of the ballots in this week's House and Senate midterm races, but Broward and Palm Beach are still struggling to provide a final tally?
"More than 80,000 votes were spoken into existence," the congressman said in frustration. He referenced a report that at one elementary school, a librarian just walked out with a box of ballots.
State officials need to come down here "to figure out what the hell is going on," Gaetz said.
Even those counties "ravaged" by a Category 5 hurricane a month ago were able to get it together, Gaetz noted.
"My constituents are in jeopardy" because of Broward and Palm Beach, he said.
Gaetz noted this isn't the first time Broward has been the center of voting controversy and there seems to be a common denominator - Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes. When Debbie Wasserman Schultz faced primary challenger Tim Canova in 2016, Snipes was illegally destroying ballots, according to Circuit Judge Raag Singhal. As of Thursday, Snipes told reporters she still doesn't know how many votes are outstanding.
#Broward Elections Supervisor #BrendaSnipes has a history of destroying ballots and violating Florida election laws.— Michael Ahrens (@michael_ahrens) November 9, 2018
How can she not know 40+ hrs later how many votes are outstanding?? pic.twitter.com/PpQmRbTZe4
Snipes is expected to give a press conference Friday afternoon.
Now that Broward is counting new votes, her county has again "poisoned the integrity" of the Sunshine State, Gaetz regretted.
"It’s outrageous and the world is watching," he said.
Before hanging up with Fox's Harris Faulkner, Gaetz lamented that he travels around the world encouraging voting and democracy, but his own state is riddled with election incompetence.
President Trump agrees and called the whole process an embarrassment.
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
Fl. Gov Rick Scott, who was declared the victor over Sen. Bill Nelson Tuesday night, but now looks to be facing a recount, has filed a lawsuit against both Snipes and Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher for trying to "steal the election."