Sunday, November 18, 2018
  • The Buzz
  • From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

No, President Trump, they haven’t only ‘found’ votes for Democrats in Florida

As election results continue to roll in and the results for Senate and governor further narrow, a common misconception is that only Democrats are gaining votes.

The loudest voice for this fallacy is President Donald Trump, who tweeted as much this afternoon.

It's not true. In the Senate race, both Republican Rick Scott and Democrat Bill Nelson have seen their vote totals consistently increase since Tuesday night — by tens of thousands, actually. Ditto in the governor's race between Republican Ron DeSantis and Democrat Andrew Gillum.

However, Nelson and Gillum have added more votes than Scott and DeSantis, respectively, which is why the races have narrowed. That's to be expected, since the majority of the votes counted in the past two days or so are in two counties — Palm Beach and Broward — are heavily Democratic.

Tuesday vote totals (11 p.m.)Friday vote totals (2:00 p.m)Total added
Rick Scott4,044,4184,095,24650,828
Bill Nelson3,986,7474,080,22293,475
Difference57,67115,024
DeSantis4,018,4704,073,25454,784
Gillum3,941,0934,037,10596,012
Difference77,37736,149

As counties tally their provisional ballots, there will certainly be some parts of the state where Scott receives more votes than Nelson. However, those tend to be smaller, rural counties with fewer votes.

Trump's tweet includes another conspiracy: that the votes counted since Tuesday night in South Florida were "found." There is no evidence Broward and Palm Beach counties are counting "found" or fraudulent ballots.

Rather, officials say, they are counting to tally the votes their offices received by election day.

These untruths and conspiracies have gained traction in part because of the lack of transparency and contentious history of the election office under the microscope right now. Click here to read more about the Broward County Supervisor of Elections Office, the most controversial in Florida.

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