Politics

Nelson's campaign sues Florida secretary of state

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) - Sen. Bill Nelson's re-election campaign is suing the Florida Secretary of State over the signature matching process that is used to validate provisional ballots, CNN Politics reports.

Under Florida law, county election officials must double check signatures on all provisional ballots to make sure they match. But Nelson's lawyers argue that the "untrained opinions" of poll workers are what's deciding whether they do.

"This results in a complete lack of uniformity," Marc Elias, the lead recount lawyer for Nelson told reporters on a call Friday. "Voters in one county are subject to one standard for reviewing signatures than others."

"This serves as an outright disenfranchisement and burden on the right to vote," he added.

Nelson wants the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida to issue an immediate injunction and declare “that all voters who submit a (vote-by-mail) or provisional ballot, and whose ballots are subsequently determined to involve a signature mismatch, be counted as valid votes.”

He's also asked that Saturday's deadline be extended. 

Meanwhile, his opponent, Republican Gov. Rick Scott has filed a lawsuit against the Broward County and Palm Beach County elections supervisors for their failure to meet a state deadline to report early and mail ballot totals.

“I am considering every single legal option available. No ragtag group of liberal activists or lawyers from D.C. will be allowed to steal this election from the voters of this great state. I am proud to be the next Senator from the Great State of Florida and look forward to going up there and making Washington work for all Americans," Scott said.

He also called for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to "immediately" investigate the situation. The agency said they do not have an active investigation. 

Nelson currently trails Scott by just over 15,000 votes or 0.18 percentage points. A recount is automatically triggered if the margin drops below 0.5 points.

As of Friday afternoon, both Broward and Palm Beach County officials were still counting absentee ballots. Broward was still counting early voting ballots. 


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