TAMPA – Americans went to work on November 7th and many were relieved to have the 2018 midterm elections behind them — entering into the eye of the storm of the divisive political environment surrounding the midterm elections. Yet nine days after the polls closed on November 6th Florida is yet again stealing the spotlight and reigniting the divide as near historic recount drama is unfolding by the hour.

Broward County

Perhaps the most famous county in the union for ballot counting problems, Broward and specifically her Supervisor of Elections Professor Brenda Snipes are being accused of not following Florida law. Governor and Senator-Elect Rick Scott has filed a lawsuit on November 8th against Snipes alleging these violations and requesting to impound the ballots and voting machines when not actively being used for recounts. This request was heard and deniedt by Circuit Chief Judge Jack Tuter on Monday.

Broward County

Meanwhile the recount continues under intense scrutiny but in a statement Tuesday, Prof. Snipes said that Broward and her team would “meet the deadline” of Thursday at 3:00PM EST.

Palm Beach County

Palm Beach County and its Office of Elections neighbor Broward to the north under the leadership of Susan Bucher. She and her county too are mired in allegations of fraud and not adhering to State election law and were subsequently served a lawsuit under the authority of Gov. Scott. Palm Beach and the State have also seen suit filed by Democratic legal teams and Sen. Bill Nelson who argue that the election commission finish the recount regardless of the deadline to ensure all votes are counted among the “[t]he opportunity to cure is the last chance a vote-by-mail voter has to save their vote from being rejected and not counted,” and other issues. This case was heard 9:00AM EST Thursday and found in favor of Sen. Nelson, extending the time to correct mismatched signature ballots another two days.

Palm Beach County

Hillsborough County and More

Florida has clearly defined itself as of late to be a swing state and it shows in this election but the allegations against these election supervisors are serious and the problem may be spreading as reports of Gov. Scott filing suit in Hillsborough County. The Supervisor and the canvassing committee are not allowing election officials to be in the same room as the ballots during the review processes, at least in part of what the Governor’s office alleges. And like Broward and Palm Beach counties, Hillsborough election officials are in violation of State law. The President weighed in as well, calling for Sen. Nelson to concede.

Hours Before Deadline

The Scott campaign has appealed the ruling of Sen. Nelson’s case releasing a statement “We are immediately appealing this baseless decision and we are confident we will prevail in the 11th circuit. Let’s be clear — Bill Nelson’s high-priced Washington lawyers went to court to argue against a process that they previous argues for.” Notwithstanding this court battle it would not address if the recount deadline has shifted and how those votes will be tabulated into the 2018 midterm results.

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