FactReal

QUICK FACTS: Politics, News, Economy, Religion, History…for busy people!

Archive for the ‘USA-Florida’ Category

Florida: Manual Recount to Start for Senate & Agriculture Commissioner

Posted by FactReal on November 15, 2018

Florida elections: Machine recount completed. Manual recount to start for Senate and Agriculture Commissioner races.

Glenna Milberg of WPLG Local 10 (Miami) tweeted the latest numbers:

#FloridaRecount machine recount results official and posted:
Senate race:
Rick Scott over Bill Nelson 12,603 votes (0.15%)
AgricultureCommish:
Nikki Fried over Matt Caldwell 5,307 votes (0.06%)
Let the hand recounting begin …

HandCount-FL-SenateHandcount-FL-Agric

Tweet:
Screenshot 2018-11-15 at 6.17.45 PM

GOVERNOR RACE
The machine recount for the Governor race is also completed. Republican Ron DeSantis kept his lead at 0.41% over Gillum:
– DeSantis new numbers = 4,075,445
– Gillum new numbers = 4,041,762
So DeSantis leads Gillum by 33,683…that’s 0.41%. No manual recount required.
Republican Ron DeSantis is now Florida’s Governor-elect.

GovNoHandcount

BUT GILLUM STILL WANTS TO WIN
It seems Gillum might go to the courts. Remember, Democrat lawyer Marc Elias said, “We are here to win it.”
USA Today: With Florida recount over, Andrew Gillum’s last chance to become governor rests with the courts:

WASHINGTON – Andrew Gillum will have to rely on the courts if he has any chance to become Florida’s first black governor.

A recount of more than 8 million ballots that ended Thursday afternoon confirmed that Republican Ron DeSantis beat the Democratic Tallahassee mayor in the nationally watched race that galvanized progressives across the country.

[…]

But Gillum is not conceding. He and his supporters believe there is still a path to victory: lawsuits that could add more votes in support of him.

“A vote denied is justice denied — the State of Florida must count every legally cast vote,” Gillum said in a statement after the recount totals were released. “As today’s unofficial reports and recent court proceedings make clear, there are tens of thousands of votes that have yet to be counted. We plan to do all we can to ensure that every voice is heard in this process. Voters need to know that their decision to participate in this election, and every election, matters. It is not over until every legally casted vote is counted.”

The deadline for the recount was 3 p.m. Eastern Standard Time Thursday but Palm Beach County, a Democratic stronghold, did not complete its recount. It was the only one of Florida’s 67 counties that failed to do so. A lawsuit filed by Democrats could find more votes for Gillum there, for example.

Timeline for Reporting and Certification of Election Results https://floridaelectionwatch.gov/Timeline

The timeline for county canvassing boards to report results, and to conduct any possible recounts for federal, state, and multicounty races ordered by the Secretary of State, are below. For more information about recounts, visit Timeline for Reporting and Certification of 2018 General Election Results.

* Tuesday, November 6, 2018: Preliminary Election Night Returns (all early voting and all tabulated vote-by-mail results) are due no later than 7:30 PM in the respective county’s time zone and in 45-minute increments (precinct election results) thereafter until all results (except for provisional ballots) are completely reported. Since Florida has two time zones (Central and Eastern), preliminary election night returns will not be released until 8:00 PM Eastern Time.

* Saturday, November 10, 2018: Unofficial Returns are due no later than noon on the 4th day after the General Election. The Secretary of State will order a machine recount if the 1st set of unofficial returns indicates that by a margin of ½ of 1% or less of the total votes cast, a candidate for office was eliminated or defeated, a judicial candidate for retention was retained or not retained, or an issue was approved or rejected.

* Thursday, November 15, 2018: If a machine recount is ordered, Second Unofficial Returns are due no later than 3:00 PM on the 9th day after the General Election. The Secretary of State will order a manual recount if the 2nd set of unofficial returns indicates that by a margin of ¼ of 1% or less of the total votes cast, a candidate for office was eliminated or defeated, a judicial candidate for retention was retained or not retained, or an issue was approved or rejected.

* Sunday, November 18, 2018: Official Returns are due no later than noon on the 12th day after the General Election.
The Elections Canvassing Commission meets on Tuesday, November 20, 2018 at 9:00 AM to certify the Official Returns for federal, state, multicounty and district offices and constitutional amendments/revisions.

Advertisements

Posted in Elections, USA-Florida | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Recount: Judge Sides with Nelson to Fix Signatures on Ballots

Posted by FactReal on November 15, 2018

ANYTHING TO WIN & GET POWER
Tallahassee Democrat: Injunction in Florida recount lawsuit gives mail-in voters time to fix signature on ballot

U.S. Chief Judge Mark Walker issued a preliminary injunction this morning in a lawsuit filed by U.S. Bill Nelson over ballots thrown out because of mismatched signatures — declaring a state law unconstitutional and offering a middle path to give voters a chance to correct their ballots.

“The precise issue in this case is whether Florida’s law that allows county election officials to reject vote-by-mail and provisional ballots for mismatched signatures — with no standards, an illusory process to cure, and no process to challenge the rejection — passes constitutional muster,” Walker said. “The answer is simple. It does not.”

The ruling is a victory for Nelson as he tries to narrow the almost 13,000 vote margin between him and Gov. Rick Scott in a razor-thin Senate race that is currently the subject of multiple lawsuits and is undergoing a machine recount, which will likely progress to a hand recount.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Division of Elections Director Maria Matthews had identified 3,688 vote-by-mail ballots and 93 provisional ballots in 45 counties that were not tabulated because of signature mismatches.

RELATED
LIST: Illegalities at Election Offices in Broward & Palm Beach (and Shenanigans)
LIST: Democrat Lawsuits Seeking to Change Election Laws in Florida
Bill Nelson Sues Hurricane-Ravaged County for Accepting 158 Emailed/Faxed Votes

Posted in Elections, Law, Left, USA-Florida | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

LIST: Illegalities at Election Offices in Broward & Palm Beach (and Shenanigans)

Posted by FactReal on November 15, 2018

WHERE THERE’S SMOKE, THERE’S FIRE

(This is partial. We will be updating it as more information comes in.)

BROWARD & PALM BEACH DID NOT REPORT ELECTION RESULTS AS REQUIRED BY LAW
(30 min after polls close, every 45 min. updates)

Florida Election Law being Violated by Broward & Palm Beach Election Supervisors:
– – They violated Florida law requiring to upload by 7 p.m. on the day before the election the results of all early voting and vote-by-mail ballots.
– – They failed to follow Florida law which requires that early voting & vote-by-mail are accounted within 30 minutes of polls closing.
– – They violated Florida law which requires updated reports every 45 minutes until results are completely reported.

Law violated by Broward and Palm Beach election offices:
2018 Florida Statute: 102.141 County canvassing board; duties.—

(4)(a) The supervisor of elections shall upload into the county’s election management system by 7 p.m. on the day before the election the results of all early voting and vote-by-mail ballots that have been canvassed and tabulated by the end of the early voting period.

(b) The canvassing board shall report all early voting and all tabulated vote-by-mail results to the Department of State within 30 minutes after the polls close. Thereafter, the canvassing board shall report, with the exception of provisional ballot results, updated precinct election results to the department at least every 45 minutes until all results are completely reported. The supervisor of elections shall notify the department immediately of any circumstances that do not permit periodic updates as required.

NO TRANSPARENCY

Days after the polls closed, Broward and Palm Beach Counties continued counting ballots and neither of the election supervisors wanted to disclose how many ballots still existed or where these ballots came from.

Palm Beach County refused to provide information to the public. They also illegally refused to allow official party representatives into the ballot counting area and forced people to stand behind a glass wall with limited visibility and no ability to hear what is going on.

Days after voting has concluded, Broward was unwilling to disclose records revealing how many electors voted, how may ballots have been canvassed, and how many ballots remain to be canvassed.

VIOLATED CONSTITUTION & PUBLIC RECORDS ACT

Judges side with Rick Scott in lawsuit against Broward & Palm Beach Elections Supervisors
WFTV’s Field Sutton tweeted the judge found “that there has been a violation of the constitution and the public records act in the withholding of public records.”

Judge orders Broward:

A Broward judge ordered the county’s elections chief to turn over to Rick Scott’s campaign for the U.S. Senate an accounting of total ballots cast and a breakdown of votes by category — all due by 7 p.m. Friday.

Circuit Judge Carol-Lisa Phillips also held that Brenda Snipes, Broward’s supervisor of elections, was in violation of Florida public records laws for not fulfilling a request for that information by Scott’s campaign.

Phillips ordered Snipes to turn over the number of all ballots cast in Tuesday’s midterm election, broken down by absentee, early and Election Day votes. She also ordered her to provide the number of ballots still to be counted. […]

“It’s a simple case about access to information,” argued attorney Jason Zimmerman, with the law firm Gray Robinson. “We’re not talking about recounts…. This is not a partisan issue.” […]

Judge Phillips…said Florida public records of ballot totals and breakdowns should be available as soon as the polls close on Election Day. She cited Florida statute and a major South Florida appellate case that said “the court should rule in favor of disclosure rather than secrecy.”

Judge orders Palm Beach:

In the Palm Beach County case, Scott claimed Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher failed to allow his campaign to inspect potentially damaged absentee ballots mailed in by overseas military members and others. His campaign also asserted that Bucher’s office violated the law by determining whether those mail-in votes were valid, instead of having the county’s canvassing do that.

Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Krista Marx ordered on Friday that any ballot that Bucher or her staff disqualifies will need to be reviewed by the county’s canvassing board. Marx also ordered Bucher to provide a list by 4 p.m. Friday of everyone who voted by provisional ballot.

PALM BEACH DUPLICATED BALLOTS ILLEGALLY

Palm Beach replaced damaged ballots without witnesses as required by law:
Palm Beach election office filled out new ballots to replace damaged ones without allowing campaign representative to witness the process of creating the new ballot as required by Florida law.

BROWARD & PALM BEACH NOT COMPLYING WITH JUDGES’ ORDERS

Four days after Election Day, Broward & Palm Beach still not reporting according to Florida law
– As of today, Palm Beach supervisor, Susan Bucher, has yet to comply with the order from the judge.
– On Friday night, Broward election supervisor, Brenda Snipes, appeared to have complied but she submitted data that could not be accessed. “Scott’s lawyers waited outside the Supervisor of Elections office into the evening Friday waiting to get in and do their inspection. Then they told CBS4’s Carey Codd that they were asked to return for their inspection at 10 a.m. Saturday,” CBS-Miami reported.

NELSON & GILLUM LAWYERS OK TO COUNT NON-CITIZEN VOTES

Tweet: Friday night, during the Canvassing Board meeting in Palm Beach County, lawyers for both Bill Nelson & Andrew Gillum OBJECTED to Palm Beach officials rejecting a ballot from a non-U.S. citizen.

BROWARD MIXED BAD BALLOTS WITH VALID ONES

Broward “Accidentally” Mixed Bad Ballots with Valid Ones – Miami Herald

NO CAMERAS ALLOWED

Palm Beach elections supervisor banned media cameras from public ballot-counting & threatens them with arrest. .

Media outlets sued “Susan Bucher and the Palm Beach County Canvassing Board for refusing to allow us to record video while they review ballots in a public meeting,” reported NBC6’s Marissa Bagg.

BROWARD VIOLATED FLORIDA LAW BY COUNTING VOTES AFTER SATURDAY DEADLINE

More than an hour after the noon Saturday deadline to submit all ballots (besides military and overseas ballots), the Broward County Canvassing Board continued counting ballots, in violation of state law.

Video: After multiple objections, the lawyer representing Bill Nelson’s campaign stood up and stated that their campaign is “not objecting” to the illegal activity.

To prevent shenanigans, Rick Scott filed new legal complaints against Broward & Palm Beach election officials:

(None of the complaints calls to invalidate lawfully cast ballots.)
– One of the complaints (PDF) is asking a judge to bar Broward County canvassing board from including ballots counted after Saturday’s noon deadline in the final vote tally, because it is a violation of state law.

– The other filings (PDF) against the Broward and Palm Beach elections supervisors request that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) and the county sheriffs impound and secure all voting machines, tabulating devices and ballots when they are not in use until the conclusion of the recount.

Broward Judge Offered Compromise – Both Sides Agreed to Add 3 Deputies to Monitor Recount

DEMS ENDORSED BREAKING THE LAW

Video: Bill Nelson Campaign OK with Breaking the Law by Broward Canvassing Board

DEMS TRYING TO CHANGE LAW AFTER ELECTION NIGHT

LIST: Democrat Lawsuits Seeking to Change Election Laws in Florida

DEMS SAID “COUNT ALL THE VOTES”, EXCEPT REPUBLICANS’

Bill Nelson Sues Hurricane-Ravaged County for Allowing 158 Emailed/Faxed Votes
Why? Bay County is a Republican stronghold.

…more to come…

Posted in Elections, Left, USA-Florida | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Broward Judge Offers compromise – Both Sides Agreed to Add 3 Deputies to Monitor Recount

Posted by FactReal on November 12, 2018

As reported previously, during the weekend Rick Scott’s campaign filed additional complaints.

The filings (PDF) against the Broward and Palm Beach elections supervisors requested that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) and the county sheriffs impound and secure all voting machines, tabulating devices and ballots when they are not in use until the conclusion of the recount.

Broward judge Jack Tuter offered a compromise.

“After Tuter told all sides to meet to discuss a compromise, they agreed to add three deputies to the elections office in Broward,” reported the AP.

Tampa Bay Times reported today:

A Broward judge on Monday turned down Gov. Rick Scott’s request to “impound and secure” all voting machines in Broward’s elections headquarters when they’re not being used to recount ballots.

But Circuit Judge Jack Tuter offered a compromise: Add three Broward Sheriff’s deputies to the current lineup of BSO officers and private security guards overseeing the recount under way at the county’s election’s center in Lauderhill.

Tuter stopped short of granting the Scott campaign’s request for an injunction to impound the machines, but agreed with his lawyers that “there needs to be an additional layer of confidence” in the vote-recount system in Broward. The votes in the U.S. Senate race between Scott and incumbent Bill Nelson are part of the recount.

The Associated Press via Star Tribune:

Broward Chief Circuit Chief Judge Jack Tuter held an emergency hearing on a request by lawyers for Republican Gov. Rick Scott, whose lead in the Senate race over incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson has narrowed with the counting of provisional and other ballots. They asked for additional sheriff’s deputies to be sent to Snipes’ office to monitor ballots and voting machines. The lawyers requested that the deputies be present when the ballots and voting machines are not being used and until the recount is over.

[…]

In their Broward request, Scott’s lawyers alleged that Snipes was engaging in “suspect and unlawful vote counting practices” that violate state law and that she might “destroy evidence of any errors, accidents or unlawful conduct.” The motion was supported by lawyers representing the state Republican Party and opposed by Snipes’ office, Nelson’s campaign and the state Democratic Party.

“I am urging because of the highly public nature of this case to ramp down the rhetoric,” Tuter said.

“If someone in this lawsuit or someone in this county has evidence of voter fraud or irregularities at the supervisor’s office, they should report it to their local law enforcement officer,” Tuter said. “If the lawyers are aware of it, they should swear out an affidavit, but everything the lawyers are saying out there in front of the elections office is being beamed all over the country. We need to be careful of what we say. Words mean things these days.”

After Tuter told all sides to meet to discuss a compromise, they agreed to add three deputies to the elections office in Broward.

During the hearing, Scott lawyer Jason Zimmerman argued that Snipes has a long history of election errors and irregularities. He said the only goal of the request was to “protect the integrity of the vote.”

“This is not about voter suppression. This is not about stopping this vote,” Zimmerman said.

Snipes’ lawyer, Eugene Pettis, said that Zimmerman’s goal in filing the motion was to “undermine” the public faith’s in the election in case Nelson overcomes his deficit and wins the recount.

He said Snipes’ office already has deputies, security guards and cameras guarding the ballots, and the recount process is conducted in view of four representatives each from the Republicans and Democrats.

Bipartisan experts agree that voter fraud is a rare phenomenon across the nation.

To be sure, Broward County has experienced glitches with tabulation machines and mistakenly counted 22 absentee ballots that had been rejected. Still, officials said there was nothing illegal happening.

HOW DO YOU GET EVIDENCE OF ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES INSIDE THE ELECTIONS OFFICES?
Cameras banned by Elections Supervisor during Public Ballot-Counting in S. Florida
Video: Bill Nelson Campaign Endorses Broward Canvassing Board Breaking The Law
– Where is a live streaming 24/7 inside election offices while the counting goes on?

SOURCES:
– #http://www.tampabay.com/florida-politics/buzz/2018/11/12/judge-denies-rick-scotts-bid-to-impound-voting-machines-offers-compromise/

– Judge: Sides in Florida recount should ‘ramp down’ rhetoric (Nov. 12, 2018)
#https://www.apnews.com/105ce13715ae4c9da23ba2adf5cafae0
#http://www.startribune.com/mishaps-protests-and-litigation-overshadow-florida-recount/500253532/

Posted in Elections, USA-Florida | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Palm Beach’s Duplicate Ballots Issue

Posted by FactReal on November 10, 2018

FOX GUARDING THE HENHOUSE
RE: Emergency hearing held this morning as requested by Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher.

Summary as reported by The Palm Beach Post
Gov. Scott’s attorneys claimed Bucher allowed election workers to duplicate ballots without having witnesses watch as required by law. [Read the lawsuit.]
– Bucher told the judge this morning she could not comply with the original 10 a.m. Saturday deadline to retrieve the ballots because they have “already been intermixed into the stream of ballots and are already included in the vote tally.”
– The judge questioned the way Bucher’s office duplicated the ballots and said her research shows a canvassing board should make determinations in duplicating ballots.
Bucher said workers duplicated the ballots while she [Bucher], who is a member of the canvassing board, was present — and if there was a problem, they would give the ballot to the canvassing board.
– Bucher said the duplications were done in tandem and never by one person. She said the procedure is lawful and she adopted it this year from larger counties.
Judge says she has sworn affidavits from witnesses who say this in tandem procedure was not occurring, that rather unilateral decisions were being made.
– But suddenly by Saturday early evening they were able to retrieve the duplicates: By the time Bucher came back from the hearing, her staff told her they had already started to retrieve the duplicated ballots without her knowing.
– Bucher estimates the number of duplicated ballots to be about 9,800.

PalmBeachElectionSusanBucher - Edited

The Palm Beach Post’s Alexandra Seltzer reported from the courthouse today:

PBC supervisor: Recount deadline ‘impossible’ to meet
By Alexandra Seltzer
#https://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/20181110/pbc-supervisor-recount-deadline-impossible-to-meet

[Emphasis added]

The second deadline Bucher faced Saturday was set by circuit court Judge Krista Marx. The judge Saturday morning ordered Bucher to retrieve and present to the county’s canvassing board by noon duplicate ballots that are in question. Duplicate ballots occur when ballots can’t be sent through tabulation machines. Those are then copied, or duplicated, if they were damaged, or if voters didn’t fill them out properly, or if the individual “over-voted,” meaning they voted for more than one candidate in a race.

Marx had initially ordered that Bucher present the ballots by 10 a.m. Saturday but Bucher argued that it could take two to three days to comply because staff would have to go through nearly 1,000 boxes. Marx extended the deadline to noon while acknowledging “they’re not gonna meet it.” But Marx said there must be “substantial compliance” with her order.

By Saturday evening, Bucher said she didn’t meet Marx’s noon deadline, but expected to be able to soon.

“We have tried really hard to substantially comply,” she said.

[…]

Bucher did meet a separate noon deadline, however, which was submitting the county’s unofficial voting results to the state. All candidates in the four races saw a bump in votes, with Democrats seeing a larger increase.
[…]

The duplicating of ballots issue was first debated in court on Friday when Gov. Scott’s attorneys claimed Bucher allowed election workers to duplicate ballots without having witnesses watch as required by law.

In her petition for Saturday morning’s emergency hearing, Bucher said she could not comply with the original 10 a.m. deadline to retrieve the ballots because they have “already been intermixed into the stream of ballots and are already included in the vote tally.”

While Scott’s attorneys claimed there are about 650 ballots in question, Bucher said the number was “much more substantial.”

Marx questioned the way Bucher’s office duplicated the ballots and said her research shows a canvassing board should make determinations in duplicating ballots.

Bucher said a staff of about 10 to 12, including senior managers, permanent and temporary workers, duplicated the ballots while Bucher, who is a member of the canvassing board, was present — and if there was a problem, they would give the ballot to the canvassing board. Senior managers reviewed the work, she said.

Bucher said the process follows state statute that says: “The canvassing board may employ such clerical help to assist with the work of the board as it deems necessary, with at least one member of the board present at all times, until the canvass of the returns is completed.”

The duplications were done in tandem, Bucher said, and never by one person. She said the procedure is lawful and she adopted it [a new procedure] this year from larger counties, including Orange and Hillsborough.

Bucher said she and her staff figured out plans of how they would go through the ballots to find the duplicates, but hadn’t actually gone through them before Saturday’s hearing.

Clearly annoyed, Marx said it appears Bucher has done “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” since Friday to comply with her order.

But by Saturday early evening, Bucher shared good news: By the time Bucher came back from the hearing, her staff told her they had already started to retrieve the duplicated ballots without her knowing. And, she no longer expected the job to take up to three days.

She estimates the number of duplicated ballots to be about 9,800 but not all will have to go before the canvassing board because some already were there when staff had a question during the duplication process.

“I anticipate we can conclude with that today and provide the judge with a status hearing and let her know we gave every effort to meet as close to that deadline as possible,” Bucher said.

Posted in Elections, USA-Florida | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Broward “Accidentally” Mixed Bad Ballots with Valid Ones – Miami Herald

Posted by FactReal on November 10, 2018

The left-learning Miami Herald published this article describing some of the shenanigans at Broward elections office. Of course, they had to minimize the gravity of the situation. Starting with their headline (“Whoops!”), the Miami Herald wants us to think it was just a mistake…move on…nothing to see. Would they take it so lightly if it were Donald Trump running the Broward elections department?

Whoops! Brenda Snipes’ office mixed bad provisional ballots with good ones
By Alex Harris
November 09, 2018 10:38PM
#https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/broward/article221452655.html

Broward’s elections supervisor accidentally mixed more than a dozen rejected ballots with nearly 200 valid ones, a circumstance that is unlikely to help Brenda Snipes push back against Republican allegations of incompetence.

The mistake — for which no one had a solution Friday night — was discovered after Snipes agreed to present 205 provisional ballots to the Broward County canvassing board for inspection. She had initially intended to handle the ballots administratively, but agreed to present them to the canvassing board after Republican attorneys objected. […]

…The elections department didn’t originally intend to have the canvassing board review those votes, but after uproar from lawyers for the Republican Party, the office handed them over to the board, which usually reviews ballots still in the envelopes.

On Friday, the three-person canvassing board — on which Snipes usually sits — found about 20 of those 205 votes had mismatched signatures and declared them illegal. That means there are at least 20 illegal votes mixed into an anonymous pile of 205, all sitting in a machine that counted them but did not add them to the final count.

“The ballots cannot be identified,” Snipes confirmed when a lawyer for the Republican Party asked.

Republican Party lawyers immediately pressed Snipes about the future of those 205 votes and if they’d be counted. Snipes declined to answer and continued judging signatures on remaining ballots.

RELATED
Cameras banned by Elections Supervisor during Public Ballot-Counting in S. Florida
Read: Florida Election Law being Violated in Broward & Palm Beach

..

Posted in Elections, Left, USA-Florida | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »