Well, there’s more drama from Broward County. The Florida Senate race is right. Republican Gov. Rick Scott has declared victory over incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, but he’s only in the lead by a little over 18,000 votes or 0.2 percent. Anything less than half of one percent triggers an automatic recount. So, legal teams are being mobilized and lawfare is about to commence. Like in 2000, the Democrats are only focused on counting just the Democratic votes—and we’re having issues with vote tabulation in this racein two of the most liberal counties in the state, Broward and Palm Beach.
Long but IMPORTANT THREAT ON ELECTIONS IN #FLORIDA.#BayCounty was hit by a Cat 4 Hurricane just 4 weeks ago,yet managed to count votes & submit timely results.— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) November 8, 2018
Yet over 41 hours after polls closed #Broward elections office is still counting votes? #Sayfie
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) went on an extended Twitter thread this afternoon, noting that Broward’s election’s supervisor is a disaster at her job, she’s not keeping regular updates on how many outstanding ballots remain, and she’s dumping thousands of votes at a time, usually in the late night hours. It’s sheer incompetence. This person also destroyed congressional ballots in the 2016 elections (via Miami Herald):
#Florida law requires counties report early voting & vote-by-mail within 30 minutes after polls close. 43 hours after polls closed 2 Democrat strongholds #BrowardCounty & #PalmBeachCounty are still counting & refusing to disclose how many ballots they have left to count. #Sayfie pic.twitter.com/ReXCaOzkZP— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) November 8, 2018
Broward County’s Elections Department will receive special attention from state officials this November after a series of glitches, mistakes, and one case of illegal ballot destruction has some voters wondering if they should even trust the results coming out of the elections department telling them to “vote with confidence” on Nov. 6.
Following a court ruling in May that Broward Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes had illegally destroyed ballots from a 2016 congressional race, the governor’s office announced the Florida Department of State would send election experts to Snipes’ office during this year’s election “to ensure that all laws are followed” and “to observe the administration of the election.”
Snipes says the extra scrutiny is undeserved.
“I think the problems are blown out of proportion,” Snipes said as she led a reporter around the elections staging facility in Lauderhill in October. “Broward is nitpicked to the bone. Other places have the same problems, different problems. It’s just that they are not spotlighted like we are.”
Even beyond her own reprimand for authorizing the destruction of ballots, Snipes cannot deny the department’s patchy track record. In 2016, early voting results for Broward were posted a half hour before polls closed, in violation of election law. Her office was sued unsuccessfully because a constitutional amendment was missing from some mail-in ballots. The electronic system used by the county was also later found to have been targeted by Russian government hackers — although it’s unclear whether that affected results and had nothing to do with the early posting.
On multiple occasions, there have been problems with printing mail ballots. And in the August primaries, Broward was the last county to post election results. The department cited reasons from unexpected recounts, delayed jump drive delivery — rumor was they were temporarily lost — to a late influx of mail-in ballots that were still being counted the next day, leaving the results of several races unclear .
“We have consistently been the bottom of the barrel getting our voting results in,” Broward County Commissioner Nan Rich said at a September meeting to discuss how to prevent future delays in posting results. “I don’t want to be 67th in 67 counties again in voting.”
Rubio and others possibly see a Democratic attempt to steal this election. It’s a mess and totally inexcusable. The counties that were hammered by Hurricane Michael, a category four storm, were able to count their ballots on time and without delays. Now, some schoolteacher stumbled upon a box of provisional ballots that were left unsecured. With no chain of custody, we don’t know how long they sat there. They weren’t picked up. There may be no way to verify them. Some have suggested they should be trashed. This is what happens when some people tasked with making sure votes get counted in elections can’t do their jobs.
Provisional and mail-in ballots are the only ones that are left to be counted, according to Brenda Snipes, who obviously still cannot do her job well.
Ridiculous. They should be thrown in the trash. If there is no chain of custody and no one knows where they have been, there is no way to account for their authenticity.— (((AG))) (@AG_Conservative) November 8, 2018
All of these issues are happening in one county. https://t.co/XKaa33uKzZ
In Broward County, Miramar Elementary School teacher Lakeisha Sorey came across a box labeled “Provisional ballots” left behind at the school from Election Day & she’s concerned it might have votes. She didn’t look in the box because she didn’t want to tamper with it pic.twitter.com/x8WOa8tfKz— Marc Caputo (@MarcACaputo) November 8, 2018
Sorey: “I wasn’t touching it. I don’t want anybody to say I tampered with anything. But I want to make sure that if there are votes in there that they’re counted”— Marc Caputo (@MarcACaputo) November 8, 2018
“It makes me question everything that’s going on—just the fact that I want every1’s vote 2B counted”
Sorey said she spotted the box before leaving school about 4 p.m. She spoke to her principal who advised her not to touch it. She also spoke later to a state rep who referred her to me— Marc Caputo (@MarcACaputo) November 8, 2018
For those folks unfamiliar with a provisional ballot, it's cast by a voter whose eligibility is in doubt. The ballot is placed in a sealed envelop & unsealed by the canvassing board. A voter by 5 pm today was supposed to have proved his eligibility to have his vote count— Marc Caputo (@MarcACaputo) November 8, 2018
A few folks are asking about the teacher noticing the box: it was in the old cafeteria of the school, and it apparently blended in with other stuff and she just happened to see it at the end of the day— Marc Caputo (@MarcACaputo) November 8, 2018
Dr. Brenda Snipes, Broward SOE, said the county is done counting early voting ballots, with only mail-in and provisional ballots left. She said she’ll have an estimate on how many are left to count “soon”— Alex Harris (@harrisalexc) November 8, 2018
Snipes’ Office has accepted 205 of about 600 provisional ballots. About 30 of those denied provisional ballots were cast by people who already voted by mail and tried to vote again in person.— Alex Harris (@harrisalexc) November 8, 2018
Snipes said she will answer the question of if the county gathered all the bins after this canvassing meeting https://t.co/Gd155Z9jJT— Alex Harris (@harrisalexc) November 8, 2018
We’ll keep you posted. And you bet the RNC is watching. It looks like something very wrong is going on down there.