Thursday, November 15, 2018
  • The Buzz
  • From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Recount Live Blog: Gov. Rick Scott is suing South Florida election officials as his Senate lead shrinks

9:05 — Rick Scott is also suing Palm Beach County. Here's the lawsuit.

9:00 — Rick Scott filed suit against Broward County Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes over the county's delay in completing its count of the votes from the midterm election. Scott sued as a candidate for the U.S. Senate, not in his capacity as governor of Florida.

Scott followed up by lashing out at Snipes in an extraordinary press conference at the Governor's Mansion on Thursday night.

Broward County lags the rest of the state in completing the first, crucial phases of counting ballots from Tuesday's midterm election. As of 8 p.m. Thursday, the same time the governor summoned reporters to the mansion, Broward County was the only one of the state's 67 counties that had not reported to the state that it had completed its tabulation of early votes. Early voting ended Sunday in Broward.

Read the full recap of Scott's press conference here.

8:55 — Republican House Speaker-designate Jose R. Oliva today released the following statement:

" I fully support and commend the Governor for directing FDLE to investigate. The power of the vote is only as strong as the trust in the count. With each new ballot 'found' that trust erodes."

8: 46 — Andrew Gillum tweets his response to Rick Scott's lawsuit.

8:34 — Sen. Bill Nelson responded to Gov. Rick Scott's late-night announcement through a statement from his spokesman Dan McLaughlin.

"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."

8:31 — "I am proud to be the next Senator for the great state of Florida," Rick Scott said.

Scott ends the press conference without taking any questions.

8:30 — "Some believe this is simply rank incompetence. That is certainly true," Rick Scott said. But it would be naive to think they are overruling the will of the voters, he adds.

Scott is asking for law enforcement to investigate immediately and he will use every legal options necessary, he said.

8:29 — Rick Scott now giving the career of Sen. Bill Nelson's hired lawyer, Marc Elias, a veteran recount attorney. Scott said he's trying to "steal the election." Scott said they're "mysteriously finding more votes."

8:27 — Rick Scott: "We have just filed a lawsuit."

"I will not sit idly by while unethical liberals try to steal this election."

It sounds like Scott is suing both Palm Beach and Broward counties. So far only the Broward lawsuit is available.

8:26:  Rick Scott: "It has been over 48 hours since the polls closed" and ballots still being found in Broward and Palm Beach Counties, he said. "The people of Florida deserve fairness and transparency." Scott said Florida voters should be concerned about "rampant fraud."

8:24 — Rick Scott is at the lectern.

8:15 — Here's a feed if you want to follow along.

8:10 — The National Review, a conservative publication, just posted this lawsuit. Rick Scott and the National Republican Senatorial Committee appear to be suing the Broward County Supervisor of Elections over ballot counting. Scott says there is a "lack of transparency" that "raises concerns" and Scott is demanding access to public records.

Here's the lawsuit.

8:00 p.m. — Reporters are assembling outside the governor's mansion in Tallahassee.

7:45 p.m. —

Gov. Rick Scott has called a press conference for 8:15 p.m. from the Tallahassee Governor's Mansion "regarding election results."

Scott, a Republican, is running for U.S. Senate against Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson in a race that appears headed for a recount. As of 7:30 p.m., Scott led Nelson by 15,175 votes.

Two other statewide contests are likely going to a recount as well. For governor, Republican Ron DeSantis holds a 36,333-vote edge over Democrat Andrew Gillum. Democratic candidate for Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried holds a razor-thin 2,841-vote advantage over Republican Matt Caldwell.

Scott has not spoken publicly since election night, when he claimed victory over Nelson, even though no news outlets declared the race won. The Associated Press has yet to call the race.

This story will be updated as Scott speaks to the media.

MORE RECOUNT COVERAGE:

Recount, recount, recount: Here's where Florida is headed

How Bill Nelson could ultimately win the U.S. Senate recount

Gillum-DeSantis now within recount range

Nikki Fried takes lead in Florida Agriculture Commissioner race

Comments
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