'Infected?' Accusations of Election Fraud as Florida Races to Meet Recount Deadline

A device is used to straighten ballots before machine counting during a recount at the Broward County Supervisor of Elections office in Lauderhill Florida on Nov 11 2018

Trump urges Florida to end vote recount and hand elections to Republicans

The machine recount must be completed by Thursday.

The update comes as embattled Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes disclosed Tuesday that she is considering stepping down once the recount is done, but only after talking to her family.

But the president on Twitter insisted, without offering evidence, that "ballots" were "massively infected" - an unsubstantiated claim similar to his insistence in 2016 that he would have won the popular vote if millions had not voted illegally for Hillary Clinton.

A machine recount began over the weekend in the race between outgoing Republican Florida Governor Rick Scott and Democratic US Senator Bill Nelson, with another recount underway for the Florida gubernatorial race between Republican Ron DeSantis and Democrat Andrew Gillum. They finished at about 11 p.m. Tuesday.

Back in Florida, Nelson's campaign on Tuesday also filed a motion to intervene to dismiss a lawsuit by a local Democratic politician in Palm Beach County who trails a Republican in his House District race by 37 votes.

Standing with Mr. Schumer at the Capitol, Mr. Nelson again called on Mr. Scott to recuse himself from the entire process, though Mr. Scott's campaign has pointed out that a governor has no role in vote-recounts, so there's nothing from which to recuse himself. The premise from Republicans like Scott essentially goes that if a Democrat is winning in a non-deep blue state, some shenanigans must be going on. Nelson for not conceding his seat to Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican.

Gievers agreed to the delay because Palm Beach does not have enough machines to do four recounts at the same time.

While the votes in some counties have started to be counted by hand, Kruse said technology has proven to be more effective in the past.

Miami-Dade Commissioner Jose "Pepe" Diaz looks at the situation engulfing Broward and Palm Beach Counties, and expressed relief that Miami-Dade is not the center of controversy.

Once the recount is complete, if the differences in any of the races are 0.25 percentage points or less, a hand recount will be ordered. If the deadline is not met in a race, the results it reported last Saturday will stand.

And said "concerns", including in Broward County, stemmed from the Florida Democratic Party.

Broward elections officials have said this year's count was encumbered by the unexpectedly high turnout for a midterm election and the unusual length of this year's ballots, which contained 12 state constitutional amendment proposals, partly as a result of a constitutional revision commission that meets once every 20 years. Rubio has alleged there have been rampant violations of election laws in Florida, but legal authorities in the state have found no evidence of any offences. That means Scott is Secretary of State Ken Detzner's boss.

Marc Elias, a campaign attorney for Nelson, contended there was no legal need for the existing deadlines since the Senate victor would not be sworn in until January.

For example, in Republican-dominated Bay County, Elections Supervisor Mark Andersen accepted 147 ballots by email, even though that's barred by state law.

"We got to keep the heat on these people to make sure they follow the law", said Republican US Rep Francis Rooney to reporters on a recount update organised by Scott's campaign. He demanded that the election night results - which showed the Republicans leading based upon incomplete ballot counts - be used to determine the victor.

But this Florida recount has been personal for Trump.

But this Florida recount has been personal for Trump. After Election Day, Trump's aides pointed to the GOP's seeming success in the state as a validation that the president's path to re-election remained clear - a narrative that has grown hazier as the outcomes have become less certain. "There's no rampant fraud here", she said. State officials said they have no evidence of criminal conduct in the still-unresolved Senate election.

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