Many networks called Florida’s Senate and Governor seats for Rick Scott and Ron DeSantis late Tuesday night. Those calls became premature as there were many ballots still yet to be counted. As the numbers tightened, Scott worriedly called for an investigation into those ballots.
Almost as quickly as the investigation was requested it has now been denied. Today the Florida Department of Law Enforcement stated, “This morning we spoke with the Department of State and they indicated they had no criminal allegations of fraud.”
This is a big blow to Scott who now holds only a .18% point lead in his race against incumbent Bill Nelson. During a press conference Thursday night, Scott said, “The people of Florida deserve fairness and transparency, and the supervisors are failing to give it to us. Every Floridian should be concerned that there may be rampant fraud happening in Palm Beach and Broward counties.’’
Nelson’s campaign asserted that Scott was overstepping his bounds. Campaign spokesperson Dan McLaughlin said, “The goal here is to see that all the votes in Florida are counted and counted accurately. Rick Scott’s action appears to be politically motivated and borne out of desperation.”
The ballots yet to be counted place both Scott and Ron DeSantis is perilous positions. The majority of uncounted votes are in Palm Beach and Broward County, which are traditionally democratic strongholds.
Scott and Desantis has a strong backer in Donald Trump who sees Florida as a hometown of sorts. Trump tweeted, “Mayor Gillum conceded on Election Day and now Broward County has put him “back into play.” Bill Nelson conceded Election – now he’s back in play!? This is an embarrassment to our Country and to Democracy!”
This led Andrew Gillum to reply to the President, “What’s embarrassing to democracy is not counting every vote — and you, of course. Count every vote.”
While Gillum and Nelson did concede their races, that is done as a courtesy and is not legally binding. Florida a state with a tradition of recounts, is in for another political storm.
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Todd Neikirk is a New Jersey-based politics and technology writer. His work has been featured in psfk.com, foxsports.com, and PoliticusUSA. An avid pet lover, he has been known to contribute to Pet Lifestyles Magazine. He enjoys sports, politics, technology, and spending time at the shore with his family.