Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) said on Fox News that Democrat Sen. Bill Nelson's demand to re-examine invalid ballots in the Sunshine State’s count in the U.S. Senate race shows that Nelson is a "sore loser" who cannot accept losing. "Bill Nelson is clearly a sore loser," Scott said on “Fox & Friends” on Monday. "He can't stand the fact that he's not going to be elected for what, the first time in decades."

Saying that the incumbent Democrat wants officials to take a look at ballots with signature problems, Scott said that Nelson's lawyer wants to take the win away from Scott. "He's just here to steal this election," Scott said. "His lawyer came down here and said, I'm here to win the election. I'm not here to give a free and fair election, make sure votes are counted, no. He wants to win the election, that's his only purpose."

With Scott’s margin of less than 13,000 votes over Nelson, officials were required to conduct a recount. Scott has filed lawsuits against election supervisors Susan Bucher of Palm Beach County and Brenda Snipes of Broward County because of alleged irregularities that he believes are in violation of state laws. "We won by 57,000 votes that night," Scott said. "We know that since then, just in these two counties, 93,000 new votes showed up. How'd that happen?"

On Sunday, Scott's campaign filed two emergency motions in Palm Beach and Broward County courts as part of his legal efforts. The campaign requested that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and county sheriffs impound and secure all voting machines, ballots and tabulating devices when they are not in use. However, a judge ruled on Monday to deny Scott’s demand to impound voting machines. Scott's campaign also filed a complaint in Broward County court asking that the county canvassing board be barred from including ballots counted after a Saturday deadline in the final vote tabulation.

"We know that Brenda Snipes said that she found ... she acknowledged, knows, that they were illegal," Scott said on Fox News. "She mixed them in with legal ballots. We know that happened." Scott added, "We know that they tried to ... continued to count ballots after the deadline. We know that." He predicted that both he and Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis will ultimately prevail in their bid for office. "We won. Ron DeSantis won," Scott said. "We need to go forward and start thinking about our agendas."

Also on Fox News, Gov. Scott dodged questions about why he failed to remove controversial Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes before Election Day. She has faced a litany of accusations and legal action for her alleged mishandling of ballots ever since she was appointed to her post by former Gov. Jeb Bush, a Republican. When he was asked why he did not remove Snipes from her position, Scott claimed that he has limited authority to do so.  "There is limitations on what the governor can do," Scott said. 

Bush removed Snipes’ predecessor, Miriam Oliphant, because of allegations of mishandling the 2002 gubernatorial primary in Broward County -- a liberal bastion in Florida. Snipes was regularly re-elected since then. Scott said that he must comply with applicable laws. He said: “So what we’ve done is pass legislation to do everything we can to make sure there’s no fraud and then if we have concerns get law enforcement to come in and look at what’s going on."

Tim Canova, who had an unsuccessful primary bid to unseat incumbent Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz in 2016, wrote an op-ed in Sun Sentinel that he had warned Gov. Scott about Snipes and demanded her removal. 

Snipes has long been controversial. For example, the Sun Sentinel newspaper reported that she destroyed ballots 12 months after the 2016 election rather than 22 months after, as required by federal law. Previously, in 2012, approximately 1,000 uncounted ballots were discovered in Broward County a week after the election.

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich recounted on "Fox & Friends" the various times that Snipes has allegedly mishandled ballots in Broward County. When asked by the news hosts why no action has been taken to address her failures, Gingrich threw his hands up and said, "I don't understand it!"

Sick and tired of GOP politicians just throwing their hands up instead of actually DOING SOMETHING about the corrupt Brenda Snipes! ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! from r/The_Donald

On Monday, President Donald Trump tweeted that the two contested elections in Florida should be called in favor of Republicans Rick Scott and Ron DeSantis. He wrote: “An honest vote count is no longer possible, ballots massively infected..”

 

Belatedly piling on, former Republican Gov. Jeb Bush called for Snipes to be removed. He tweeted on Monday, "There is no question that Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes failed to comply with Florida law on multiple counts, undermining Floridians’ confidence in our electoral process." Bush tweeted, "Supervisor Snipes should be removed from her office following the recounts."

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Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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