Tags: 2018 Midterm Elections | Polls | broward | county | lewis | nelson | palm beach

Florida Election Increasingly Suspect by the Day

Florida Election Increasingly Suspect by the Day

Tues. Oct. 30, 2018. Rejected mail in ballots sit in a box as members of the canvassing board verify signatures on ballots at the Miami-Dade County Elections Department, in Miami, Florida. Long lines, broken voting machines and poll worker confusion are all common at polling places. With more people voting early, some of these issues popped up in the 2018 midterms. (Lynne Sladky/AP)

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Tuesday, 13 November 2018 11:31 AM Current | Bio | Archive

There has been nothing regular so far about the 2018 Florida midterm election, unless you consider irregularities to be the normal course of events in the Sunshine State.

Of special concern is Broward County, a jurisdiction that has been the center of numerous ballot discrepancies — for years.

This year, the Miami Herald reported that 20 ballots previously rejected by Broward’s canvassing board due to signature mismatches were mixed in with legitimate ballots.

Two years ago during the Democratic primary, Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes destroyed paper ballots that were ordered preserved as the subject of litigation and a public records request.

Also that year a constitutional amendment proposal was omitted from some absentee ballots. Snipes reportedly published election results 30 minutes before the polls closed.

Possibly the most egregious example strongly suggests ballot-stuffing. Chelsey Marie Smith recalled her experience as a temporary employee at Snipes’ office in an affidavit, according to a lawsuit filed by Florida Representative and Agricultural Commissioner candidate Matt Caldwell.

Ms. Smith describes, "entering a locked and secured room at the office and observing four employees filling out stacks of blank ballots. She was able to identify one employee as Mary Hall, who currently serves as the Voter Services Director for the Broward County Supervisor of Elections office. According to Ms. Smith, she was terminated the next day with no explanation."

She signed the affidavit on Nov. 3, 2016, stating the incident took place on Oct. 31, 2016 — eight days prior to the general election.

Newsmax reported at the time that the State Attorney's Office in Fort Lauderdale dismissed Smith’s claims when the SOE alleged that the employees were transferring ballots sent in by fax on to standard large-scale ballot forms so that they could be tabulated by machine.

However, Smith swore in her affidavit that the ballots in the room were all of the same size — the large-scale forms.

Bob Nichols, a Fort Lauderdale attorney, told Newsmax, "The explanation that they were creating duplicates from faxes, and that the faxes were on different-sized papers, does not comport with what this person saw."

This year, Broward "found 78,000 new votes since Election Day, two days ago, in Broward County," Gov. Scott told Fox News Thursday.

On the evening of the election, Caldwell was up by 40,000 votes. After Broward County’s ballot discovery, Nikki Fried, Caldwell’s Democratic opponent, was up by more than 3,000.

Fried tweeted, “The process is working and the people's choice is clear.”

As frequent Fox News and Newsmax TV contributor Dr. Gina Loudon observed, "'Found' ballots should generally coordinate with the original percentages. They should never change the results by tens of thousands, in one direction, for one party, every time.

Yet they’re doing exactly that in this election — heavily against Republican candidates.

For example, Andrew Gillum, Florida’s Democratic gubernatorial nominee, initially conceded the race to Republican Ron DeSantis. When Fox News called the race, DeSamtis led by nearly 83,000 votes, to give him a comfortable margin of greater than 1 percent with 98 percent of the votes tabulated.

Since the discovery of tens of thousands of additional ballots in Broward and Palm Beach counties, his lead has narrowed to fewer than 34,000 votes — a razor thin 0.41 percent margin and triggering an automatic statewide recount.

It also caused Gillum to take back his concession.

"I am replacing my earlier concession with an unapologetic and uncompromised call to count every vote," he tweeted.

Gillum’s "call to count every vote" was possibly taken more literally than intended. Lawyers representing both Gillum and Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., who is seeking reelection in a challenge mounted by Fla. Gov. Rick Scott, argued for a vote cast by non-citizen.

When the Palm Beach County Canvassing Board was examining provisional ballots Friday, Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher rejected a ballot because the voter wasn’t a U.S, citizen, according to a transcript provided by Michael Barnett, the county’s Republican Party chairman.

The lawyers representing each Democratic candidate placed their objections on the record.

Although Bucher was on the side of fairness at that instance, later that evening she appeared to have an issue with transparency.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who is not up for reelection but nonetheless has an understandable interest in the proceedings, observed that Bucher threatened to arrest reporters attempting to film ballot counting.

"Palm Beach County elections supervisor bans media cameras from public ballot counting and threatens them with arrest," he tweeted.

"How much more will it take to convince skeptics that what is happening in Palm Beach and Broward County is not a normal elections process?" he added.

In the days since Tuesday’s election, as of the time of this writing, approximately 15,000 new ballots have been discovered by Palm Beach County election officials — not quite up to Broward’s 78,000, but nonetheless troubling.

Palm Beach County GOP Chairman Barnett observes to Newsmax of Broward County, "they seem like a lost cause." As for his own bailiwick, he says that win, lose, or draw, every party member has to learn from this election debacle.

"Republicans in Palm Beach County need to work very, very hard and take this as a lesson to get out the vote," Barnett tells Newsmax.

He says that the key to overcoming voter fraud and irregularity is to overwhelm the opposition with numbers.

Barnett, who is also a Florida trial lawyer, tells Newsmax, "Every Republican voter needs to get out and vote, and get all their friends and family out to vote so that we can win these races by a large enough margin to avoid recounts."

He observes that "This kind of thing only happens on recounts," and lists a few examples from this go-round.

"They find ballots here and there, they find boxes of original ballots, they find bad ballots mixed in with good, and it’s a total mess."

Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., responded to a lawsuit filed by his opponent, Gov. Scott: "Votes are not being found," he said. "They’re being counted."

In truth, they’re being found and counted.

Newtown Helps Rwanda.org founder J.T. Lewis observed, "I am deeply disturbed by how easy it seems it would be to alter the results of an election. Forget Russia, look at what’s going on in Florida!"

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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MichaelDorstewitz
In the days since Tuesday’s election, approximately, as of the time of this writing, 15,000 new ballots have been discovered by Palm Beach County election officials — not quite up to Broward’s 78,000, but nonetheless troubling.
broward, county, lewis, nelson, palm beach, supervisor
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2018-31-13
Tuesday, 13 November 2018 11:31 AM
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