***This post has been updated***
The ballot counting in Florida elections is a shambles. The gubernatorial race is a shambles. The agricultural commissioner’s race is a shambles. And the Senate race is a shambles. We’re all heading for recounts in these races—and the two counties that keep chipping away at GOP vote totals, Broward and Palm Beach, are the most liberal in the state. They’ve violated state law by not posting regular updates on ballots left outstanding.
A judge recently ruled that the counties violated public records laws—and the whole ballot counting process has been done in secret. So, yes, it’s right that Gov. Rick Scott, the Republican U.S. Senate candidate who has declared victory, recently filed a lawsuit over this nonsense. The National Republican Senatorial Committee has also joined the lawsuit.
#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 supervisor, Brenda Snipes, can't do her job. She’s destroyed congressional ballots in 2016, has forgotten to add amendments to ballots, and there are serial issues with mail-in ballots (via Miami Herald):
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.”
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.”
To boot, Broward and Palm Beach decided they were going to just ignore the court order for all public information requests concerning outstanding ballots. Oh, and there’s this disturbing tidbit Florida State University College of Law Professor Michael Morley found within the documents of Scott’s lawsuit:
Michael Morley, a professor at Florida State University College of Law, noted something from the documents of the Scott lawsuit that should raise anyone’s eyebrows. Okay—well maybe not for Democrats because they will choose to ignore it.
13/ @FLGovScott lawsuit against Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher - supported by a verified complaint (i.e., sworn under penalty of perjury) - provides evidence of far more serious wrongdoing. https://t.co/JTfRAdZlOj— michaelmorley11 (@michaelmorley11) November 9, 2018
14/ State law provides that, if a paper ballot is physically damaged in a way that prevents it from being read by an automated tabulation machine, election officials may make a replacement ballot to be run through the machine instead.— michaelmorley11 (@michaelmorley11) November 9, 2018
15/ That is an *extremely serious power.* To prevent people from being disenfranchised (potentially due to ballot handling beyond their control), state law lets election officials create replacement ballots to be automatically tabulated instead of the original vote.— michaelmorley11 (@michaelmorley11) November 9, 2018
16/ In other words, election officials, quite literally, create new ballots to be counted. Obviously, the law requires them to fill out the replacement ballots the same way, for the same candidates, as the original damaged ballots they're replacing.— michaelmorley11 (@michaelmorley11) November 9, 2018
17/ The process creates a real, immediate opportunity for fraud that could change an election's results.If a damaged ballot were cast for @FLGovScott, for example, a hyper-partisan or corrupt official could be tempted to fill out a replacement ballot for Sen Nelson, or vice versa— michaelmorley11 (@michaelmorley11) November 9, 2018
18/ State law *recognizes* that the literal creation of new ballots to be counted is one of the most sensitive and vulnerable steps in the process. That's why it requires the creation of replacement ballots must occur "in the presence of witnesses." Fla. Stat. 101.5614(4)(a)— michaelmorley11 (@michaelmorley11) November 9, 2018
19/ @FlGovScott lawsuit provides sworn evidence that the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections prohibited his campaign's reps from monitoring the creation of replacement ballots. Election officials are filling out new ballots, but the candidate's reps apparently couldn't see— michaelmorley11 (@michaelmorley11) November 9, 2018
There is evidence of wrongdoing—but this is all conspiracy talk as far as the liberal media is concerned. Yet, these same jokers said, without evidence, that the Russians hacked our election. It’s madness.
Oh, these antics aren't anything new. In 2012, 200,000 non-citizens might have voted in the state's elections (via NBC Miami):
Florida officials are now saying that nearly 200,000 registered voters may not be U.S. citizens.
Earlier in the week, state election officials announced they had identified more than 2,600 people who are in Florida legally but ineligible to vote.
The Department of State is asking county election officials to verify the information. Election supervisors are contacting voters and if someone is not a citizen, their name will be dropped from the voter rolls.
But an initial list drawn up by the state — and not widely released — shows that a comparison of voter lists and driver's license information turned up a list of nearly 182,000 people who may not be U.S. citizens.
State officials, however, note that some of those on list may have become citizens after first getting their driver's licenses. Still, the decision to screen the voter rolls for non-citizens could result in tens of thousands voters being dropped in the middle of a critical election year.
The state database is supposed to check the names of registered voters against other databases, including ones that contain the names of people who have died and people who have been sent to prison.
Driver's license numbers had been used to verify the identity of someone who had registered to vote but apparently the state was not checking citizenship status prior to last year. The state does not give driver's licenses to illegal immigrants, but it does grant them to legal visitors.
Cate said the list of 182,000 people was drawn up by checking first and last names, date of birth and either a driver's license number, a Social Security number or an address. Most of the matches had identical driver's license numbers, names and birthdates. A state document shows that out of the nearly 182,000 identified that more than 172,000 were active voters, meaning they had cast ballots in recent elections or registered recently.
Republican Party of Florida chairman Lenny Curry defended the state push.
"To now learn that thousands of illegal votes could be cast across our state is chilling and threatens the confidence people need to have in our elections," Curry said in a statement." Any amount of fraud or illegality in this system is too much."
In 2018, there's still questions of credibility concerning Palm Beach and Broward counties since the latter recently mixed rejected provisional ballots in with good ones.
Editor's Note and Apology: Folks, mistakes happen. When they do, we try to correct them as soon as possible. In the original post, I made the error of thinking the 200,000 non-citizens figure was for the 2018 cycle. It was actually for 2012. The post has been updated and corrected. We sincerely apologize for stepping on the rake on this one.