Political News

Bill Nelson's campaign sues Florida secretary of state as vote count fight continues

Posted November 9, 2018 11:19 a.m. EST

— Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson's re-election campaign has filed a lawsuit against Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner over vote by mail ballots and the process used to validate them.

Democratic lawyer Marc Elias, the lead recount lawyer for Nelson, decried the signature matching process that is used to validate provisional ballots, arguing that it leaves the decision to the "untrained opinions" of poll workers to determine "whether signatures match." He said there was a "complete lack of uniformity" in how those signatures were judged.

"This serves as an outright disenfranchisement and burden on the right to vote," Elias told reporter on a call Friday.

Detzner is a Republican who was appointed by Florida Gov. Rick Scott, Nelson's GOP opponent in the contested Senate race.

Elias opened the call by highlighting how the split between Scott and Nelson has shrunk since Election Day and confidently said he believed, after all votes are counted correctly, Nelson would prevail the winner.

"I would expect when we go into a machine recount and then a hand recount, right now the results are unknown who has won, and if I had to place a bet, I would say it is more likely than not Sen. Nelson will prevail in a recount," he said.

Elias dismissed suggestions that there are not enough votes out there to close the margin for Nelson.

"Fifteen thousand is a lot of votes when you are talking about an election of one million votes or two million votes. We are talking about 8.5 million votes. We are less than two-tenths of one percent. ... And when viewed in that arena, it is actually quite close."