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Tags: baseball | court | district | scott | tallahassee

'Game Over': A Desperate Bill Nelson Still Wants Rules Changes

florida senator bill nelson

Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., whose re-election contest against Republican Gov. Rick Scott is still undecided, at a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, D.C. Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

Michael Dorstewitz By Wednesday, 14 November 2018 02:30 PM EST Current | Bio | Archive

It may be 2018, but Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., has officially taken us "Back To The Future." This time it's to the year 2000. The year known as Florida’s election of hanging chads.

Nelson and his campaign filed four separate lawsuits in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida (Tallahassee) Tuesday. The lawsuits seek to challenge Florida election laws and the manner in which they’re applied by each county.

One can compare Nelson’s litigation to a losing baseball team challenging the
"three strikes and you’re out" rule at the close of the game.

The Democrat is trailing his Republican challenger, Gov. Rick Scott, by greater than 12,000 votes.

The lawsuits ask the court to rule on:

  • The state’s signature match requirements;
  • The state’s postmark deadlines for mail-in ballots;
  • Nelson's seeking to intervene in a lawsuit filed by the Palm Beach County supervisor of elections to extend ballot tabulation deadlines; and,
  • Nelson challenging the rules regarding voter intent.

Broken down to their essentials, Bill Nelson is asking for the court to issue an order allowing "unconventionally marked ballots" be tallied, according to The Hill.com —despite the law and clearly-marked instructions printed on each ballot.

"The State will incur no burden in counting the votes of voters who clearly indicated their definite choice for Florida’s U.S. Senate race, but may not have done so in the same manner for every race on the ballot or may not have cancelled-out erroneous overvotes using written words . . . ," the lawsuit’s complaint reads.

Testimony is scheduled to begin Wednesday on all four cases.

After Palm Beach County had already been granted a five-day extension beyond the Nov. 15 recount deadline, it ran into a snafu. WPBF-TV anchor Terri Parker reported:

"Breaking: ballot counting machines break down in Palm Beach County — [Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections] Susan Bucher says they have to rerun all early vote tallies in Senate Race — that already took them a day and a half to tally."

Nelson, through his lawyer, objected to the Palm Beach County Canvassing Board’s decision to throw out the ballot cast by someone not a U.S. citizen Friday.

These lawsuits are one more example that Nelson and his campaign are in panic mode. There are few recounts of statewide general elections — there have been only 27 recounts conducted out of the 4,687 such elections between 2000 and 2015, according to a FairVote survey.

Of those 27, only 15 were considered "consequential," that is, involving extremely tight races in which the original victory margin was less than 0.15 percent.

Of those 15, only three resulted in a change of election results:

  • The 2004 Washington state gubernatorial race;
  • The 2006 auditor's race in Vermont; and,
  • Most infamously, the 2008 U.S. Senate race in Minnesota, in which Democrat Al Franken defeated Republican incumbent Norm Coleman.

Each of those recounts resulted in a change of fewer than 500 votes.

Nelson has to reverse nearly 13,000 votes.

Rather than bowing out gracefully after serving more than two decades in the U.S. Senate, he’s trying to hold on by figuratively challenging baseball’s "three strikes and you’re out" rule.

Michael Dorstewitz is a retired lawyer and has been a frequent contributor to BizPac Review and Liberty Unyielding. He’s also a former U.S. Merchant Marine officer and an enthusiastic Second Amendment supporter, who can often be found honing his skills at the range. To read more of his reports - Click Here.

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Rather than bow out gracefully after more than two decades in the U.S. Senate, Bill Nelson is trying to hold on by figuratively challenging baseball’s "three strikes and you’re out."
baseball, court, district, scott, tallahassee
Wednesday, 14 November 2018 02:30 PM
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