Florida’s Altered Election Forms Scandal Is ‘Fraud,’ Says Dhillon
Local officials intentionally sent these out 'only' to Democratic voters as the recount controversy drags on in the Sunshine State
Attorney Harmeet Dhillon lambasted local Florida officials on Thursday night in an interview on “The Ingraham Angle” for intentionally sending altered election forms “only” to Democratic voters, as the drama continues over the state’s contested senatorial and gubernatorial midterm elections.
Broward County and Palm Beach County, in particular, became embroiled in controversy in the days following last week’s midterm elections. GOP candidates’ comfortable election evening leads over their opponents in the other party sank enough over the next several days as enough Democrat-leaning ballots kept pouring in to trigger recounts.
Outgoing Gov. Rick Scott (R) and Governor-Elect Ron DeSantis (R) still hold slim margins of victory over incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) and Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum (D), respectively. After the recount concluded Thursday, in fact, Gillum only gained one net vote and still trailed DeSantis by more than 33,000 votes.
Because the margins in the gubernatorial election didn’t reach the threshold for a manual recount, that race should be concluded.
But Gillum is refusing to concede.
Meanwhile, the senatorial election is headed to a manual recount with Scott (pictured above left) still firmly in the lead over Nelson (above right).
But further controversy was triggered Thursday when the local Naples Daily News reported that “a Democratic party leader directed staffers and volunteers to share altered election forms with voters to fix signature problems on absentee ballots after the state’s deadline.”
“The altered forms surfaced in Broward, Santa Rosa, Citrus and Okaloosa counties and were reported to federal prosecutors to review for possible election fraud as Florida counties completed a required recount in three top races,” the outlet noted.
Dhillon, founder of the Dhillon Law Group Inc. and the Republican National Committeewoman for California, told Fox News host Laura Ingraham that this “is fraud.” She noted that “the Democratic Party, in conjunction with officials of the Democratic Party, actually sent out altered forms to several thousand voters in Broward County” and elsewhere.
But U.S. Chief Judge Mark Walker on the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Nelson’s campaign on Thursday by allowing voters with ballots rejected because of mismatched signatures to have until Saturday to cure the issue.
Fox News found that Walker’s wife, Karen D. Walker, previously made small donations to Nelson’s campaign.
“But they only sent them to Democratic registered voters. So they’re only interested in correcting the signatures for Democrats — not for Republicans,” Dhillon said. “And unfortunately this judge, who seems to have a conflict, went ahead and extended that deadline.”
“So that’s organized. That isn’t a one-off or a mistake,” Dhillon added. “That is thousands of … forms going out with false information deceiving voters about their right to correct their ballots.”
Florida-based lawyer Peter M. Dunbar, who serves as counsel to the Republican Party of Florida, told Ingraham, “I’ve been in the Florida political arena now for about five decades. This is the first time we’ve seen something quite like this, or the allegations quite like this from either of the two state parties.”
“It is a bit troubling. But it will be processed appropriately,” Dunbar said.
“I think it has now taken the appropriate course of action so that it will be looked into,” he said.
Another controversy occurred Thursday when Broward County missed the deadline by a mere two minutes to submit its recounted ballots, thus invalidating them — even though multiple media outlets reported that officials completed the recount with roughly 14 minutes to spare.
“In this case, it was almost an 800-vote advantage for [Scott]. So that’s why, I think, there’s suspicion about it being an intentional missing of the deadline,” Dhillon speculated.
Dunbar predicted that the controversial ballots are “not going to change the results” from election night.
“When it’s all said and done, we will have Gov. Scott as senator-elect,” Dunbar insisted.
Dhillon warned that Republicans need to be prepared for similar election controversies in 2020 — and to hire good lawyers.
“[Republicans have] been caught flat-footed in many races where lawyers on the ground and that kind of aggressive effort could have changed things,” Dhillon admitted. “So I hope we learned a lesson for 2020. We’re really going to need to do that and have lawyers in every race. I think, actually, frankly every congressional candidate needs to have a lawyer on speed dial.”
Check out the video below: