Florida’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate says claims of electoral fraud without evidence by President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Rick Scott were sowing seeds that could undermine confidence in the democratic process.
Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum told a packed church of 200 supporters in Orlando Tuesday night that he would fight “with every fiber in my body” to make sure that every vote is counted as Florida’s 67 counties work to complete a machine recount and face the prospect of a manual recount.
The machine recount was triggered in Gillum’s gubernatorial race against his GOP opponent, Ron DeSantis, as well as in the U.S. Senate race between Scott and incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson.
Gillum says claims by Trump and Scott about electoral fraud in counties that were taking time counting ballots were equivalent to trying to disenfranchise voters.
U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson and a Democratic campaign committee are continuing to file lawsuits over the recount now underway in Florida.
Nelson and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee filed two lawsuits Tuesday. One asks a federal judge to set aside looming deadlines for machine and hand recounts of ballots to give all counties time to complete recounts.
Nelson is trying to win a fourth term but is trailing Republican Gov. Rick Scott in a tight race.
Marc Elias, a campaign attorney for Nelson, said every county should be given a chance to finish recounting the ballots in the race. There are concerns that some large counties will not be able to finish a hand recount if it is ordered.
The deadline for the machine recount is Thursday.
A Florida circuit judge is suspending looming recount deadlines, but her ruling applies to Palm Beach County only and does not apply to the U.S. Senate race between Bill Nelson and Rick Scott.
Leon County Judge Karen Gievers ruled Tuesday that a machine recount in two other statewide elections, including the race for governor, can go beyond Thursday’s deadline. Gievers also extended the deadline for a legislative race.
Jim Bonfiglio, a Democrat running for the Legislature, filed the lawsuit asking that recount deadlines be suspended.
Gievers agreed to the delay because Palm Beach does not have enough machines to do four recounts at the same time.
It’s not clear, however, if Gievers’ ruling will remain in place. Lawyers for Secretary of State Ken Detzner have asked that the lawsuit be moved to federal court.
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