In response to the ballot controversy in Florida, President Donald Trump said on Friday that the ongoing situation is an “embarrassment” to the “country and to democracy.”
Broward County, Florida, somehow “found” extra ballots after the deadline for turning them in following the midterm elections on Tuesday, the county reported.
The news has sparked a controversy, as the senatorial and gubernatorial races in the state remain ultra-close. Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum even jumped back into the situation after the votes were uncovered, though he had already conceded defeat.
“Mayor Gillum conceded on Election Day and now Broward County has put him ‘back into play,'” Trump said in a tweet.
“Bill Nelson conceded election — now he’s back in play!? This is an embarrassment to our country and to democracy!” he also wrote.
Trump also cited the occurrence of similar incidents in other counties, coining them the “The Broward Effect.”
He questioned why such counties never seem to find extra Republican votes in these situations. Trump also accused the county of trying the same with him in 2016. And he pointed to former Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp — who is still in a bitter fight for votes with the race so close.
Outgoing Republican Gov. Rick Scott — who won his senatorial election earlier this week against incumbent Democrat Sen. Bill Nelson — announced a lawsuit against both election supervisors in the county for failing to meet the state deadline.
He also alleged rampant fraud by the Democratic county officials.
“You mean they are just now finding votes in Florida and Georgia,” Trump said. “But the election was on Tuesday? Let’s blame the Russians and demand an immediate apology from President Putin!”
The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) also joined the lawsuit against the county, plus one against Palm Beach County.
Trump took to social media a day earlier to say that law enforcement is looking into the alleged corruption scandal connected to possible election fraud in Broward and Palm Beach. He added that voters in the state picked Rick Scott.
“As soon as Democrats sent their best election-stealing lawyer, Marc Elias, to Broward County, they miraculously started finding Democrat votes,” Trump said. “Don’t worry, Florida — I am sending much better lawyers to expose the FRAUD!”
The extra ballots could potentially make a difference with both the state senatorial and gubernatorial numbers still so close. Scott led Nelson by just 17,000 votes at 0.2 percent of the vote for the Senate seat. Republican Ron DeSantis was leading Andrew Gillum by about 30,000 votes at 0.4 percent.
Gillum is also considering the possibility of seeking a recount in response to his close but failed bid.
He was down by just one percentage point when he conceded defeat in a tough election battle that went late into the night on . Tuesday. But that already small loss has since narrowed even more.
Fox News reported that a mandatory recount appears imminent.
Gillum is among the handful of up-and-coming Democratic candidates who have pursued a more progressive agenda. He supports impeaching President Donald Trump, abolishing the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency, and backing taxpayer-funded Medicare for All. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is among the notable progressives and self-described socialists who have backed his campaign.
The midterms overall drew a considerable amount of attention. The Center for Responsive Politics released a report last week projecting that the current midterm elections will be the most expensive ever at more than $5.2 billion.
President Donald Trump held dozens of rallies across the country to stir support for conservative candidates in the midterms. He won Florida by 1.2 percentage points.
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