11.12.2018 0

Will the Florida recounts put democracy at risk?

By Donald Wilfong

In the Great State of Florida, there is a current outbreak of rampant voter fraud, says Gov. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) who is now leading Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) by just over 12,000 votes headed into the state’s mandatory recounts.

Scott has a point. Current Governor and Senator-Elect Scott, coupled with the National Republican Senatorial Committee, have already launched two successful lawsuits against Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections, Susan Butcher and Broward County Supervisor of Elections, Brenda Snipes, compelling Scott’s campaign access to voting records after the elections boards were secretively tabulating ballots in violation of Florida law without monitors.

In Florida, each county Supervisor of Elections needs to have all early votes uploaded and tallied by 7p.m. the day before Election Day. Then every early vote must be counted within 30 minutes of the polls closing on Election Day. As of Friday, Nov. 9, three days after the election, Broward County had yet to finish its tabulation of all early votes. Out of the 67 counties in Florida, only one was still counting early votes, they are even claiming they are still finding early votes.

Ballots are inanimate objects meaning they just can’t get up and walk off or run away like your dog. If they are still finding votes it is very alarming. Is it due to the gross mishandling of secure ballots? Stuffing the ballot at the last minute?

Video recordings now reflect that volunteer poll workers were loading ballots cast by Broward county citizens into their own private vehicles, before driving to a parking lot and throwing them in the back of an enterprise rental truck. This directly violates the safe and secure handling laws of ballots.

All of Florida needs an explanation from Brenda Snipes on why and how her team was able to change such important procedures.

The released video shows just how easy it is to commit voter fraud in this country — people are unloading bags of ballots out of cars as quickly as they can. When people who are supposed to be counting the votes do not believe in following the proper procedures instituted to safeguard our democracy, it threatens the institution itself, with no respect for the laws, their office, nor the good people of Broward County.

But this is just another miscue in a long line of other issues that Supervisor Snipes has participated in. She has in the past knowingly destroyed ballots of voters, opened mail ballots before the designated time, distributed multiple ballot pages to voters, and has left sections off of ballots.

Along with the lawsuits launched by out-going Governor and Senator-Elect Scott, he is launching a full investigation into Snipes by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. This action is well within his rights as Governor and necessary due to Snipes’ own history of voter fraud, where she admitted to destroying ballots.

Florida remains a critical swing state. Rick Scott’s position in the Senate stands to solidify a workable Republican majority in Congress’ upper chamber. This election is simply too important to allow any fraud to go uninvestigated — and without prosecution. Broward and Palm Beach counties must comply with local authorities, and allow everyone to see the ballots being counted. Too much is at stake.

The future of Florida and our country should not rest in the hands of Brenda Snipes, controlling the ballot counting in the Governor’s race in Florida and who will represent Florida in the Senate, when Broward County cannot even keep with legal deadlines for tabulating votes under Florida law.

As a Floridian, I could not be more concerned for the people in Broward County, the state of Florida, and the nation as a whole — as all of our democratic rights are in jeopardy.

Donald Wilfong is the development officer at Americans for Limited Government.

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