Trump Calls For End To Florida Recount, Claiming An “Honest Vote Count” No Longer Possible
President Donald Trump called for Florida election officials to end the recount of last week’s midterm election results, claiming that an “honest vote count” was no longer possible due to fraudulent ballots.
In a tweet posted at 4:44 a.m. Monday morning, President Trump claimed that the recount taking place in Florida had been poisoned by “missing or forged” ballots, and that the state’s election officials “must go with Election Night” results.
The Florida Election should be called in favor of Rick Scott and Ron DeSantis in that large numbers of new ballots showed up out of nowhere, and many ballots are missing or forged. An honest vote count is no longer possible-ballots massively infected. Must go with Election Night!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 12, 2018
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A spokesperson for Florida’s secretary of state said that the officials in charge of the proceedings had found “no evidence of criminal activity” as the president and his allies have suggested.
Preliminary election results released on Saturday showed that Governor Rick Scott (R) was ahead of incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson (D) by a margin of 0.15 percent in Florida’s Senate race.
In the state’s gubernatorial race, the unofficial returns showed that Former Representative Ron DeSantis (R) led Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum (D) by a similarly narrow margin of 0.25 percent, or the equivalent of just over 33,500 votes.
The narrow margins triggered a recount under a Florida law that mandates a machine recount be conducted if the election margin is less than 0.5 percent, and a manual recount for results that show a less than 0.25 percent difference.
Officials began the process of reexamining the votes on Saturday, with particular focus being placed in Broward and Palm Beach counties, Democratic strongholds in the state.
A group calling themselves “Bikers for Trump” showed up in front of a recount center in Broward county Monday morning to support the Trump’s favored candidates, using a truck to blast portions of Trump’s speeches at the center.
A “Bikers for Trump” protest has popped up outside the Broward County election supervisor’s offices here in Lauderhill, FL pic.twitter.com/5MgbjRtlwO
— Andrew Desiderio (@desiderioDC) November 12, 2018
Governor Scott’s office filed several lawsuits since the recount began Saturday. Scott’s suit alleging that Broward County elections supervisor Brenda Snipes illegally counted votes after the Saturday deadline, and the ones calling for the seizure of voting machines in the counties in question were struck down by a judge on Monday.
Prior to this, a judge had upheld a suit filed by Scott’s campaign that alleged Broward county officials had violated open-record laws by not discussing the number of uncounted votes remaining after election night.
Scott has already claimed victory over Nelson, but the Democratic incumbent holds firm that he will win once the recount is concluded.
Gillum, who had previously conceded the race to DeSantis after the preliminary results were released last week, has since replaced his concession “with an unapologetic and uncompromised call to count every vote.”
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