Nelson calls on Scott to recuse himself from “any role” in Florida’s recount process

An employee at the Broward County Supervisor of Elections office prepares to sort ballots before being counted, Monday, Nov. 12, 2018, in Lauderhill, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson Monday called on Gov. Rick Scott to recuse himself from “any role” in Florida’s recount process as the supervisors of elections across the state begin a mandatory machine recount of more than 8.2 million ballots cast in this year’s U.S. Senate race.

“[Rick Scott] should remove himself from any role in the recount process so the people can have confidence in the integrity of the election,” Nelson said in a video statement released today by his campaign. “Given his efforts to undermine the votes of Floridians, this is the only way that we can ensure that the people’s votes are protected. “

Nelson said Scott is “using his power as governor to try to undermine the voting process” and his recent actions make clear that he “cannot oversee this process in a fair and impartial way.”

“He’s thrown around words like voter fraud without any proof,” Nelson said. “He’s stood on the steps of the governor’s mansion and tried to use the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate the Broward elections chief.

“He’s filed lawsuits to try to stop votes from being counted and to impound voting machines.”

Florida judge sees no evidence of counting fraud

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A Florida judge said he’s seen no evidence of wrongdoing in the vote-counting in Broward County and urged all sides to “ramp down the rhetoric.”

Circuit Chief Judge Jack Tuter said during emergency hearing Monday that there is a need to reassure citizens that the integrity of the Florida recount is being protected.

To that point, he urged lawyers for Rick Scott and others representing the Republican and Democratic parties and their candidates as well as the Broward County elections office to agree on some minor additions in security, including the addition of three more law enforcement officers to keep an eye on things.

And the judge says that if anyone any evidence of voter fraud or irregularities, they should report it to law enforcement.

Scott campaign calls Nelson lawsuit frivolous

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A spokesman for Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s Senate campaign says the lawyer for incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson “seems to be content filing frivolous and laughable lawsuits.”

The Nelson campaign sued the Florida Department of State on Monday in an effort to count mail-in ballots that were postmarked before Election Day but not delivered before the polls closed Tuesday. Attorney Marc Elias says voters should not be disenfranchised because of mail delivery delays that weren’t their fault.

Unofficial election results show Scott leading Nelson by 0.14 percentage points as a mandatory statewide recount continues.

Scott campaign spokesman Chris Hartline calls the lawsuit “nothing short of a legal white flag of surrender.”

Also Monday, a South Florida judge presiding over an emergency hearing brought by the Scott campaign regarding ballot security during the recount urged lawyers on both sides to “ramp down the rhetoric.”

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