Bill Nelson sues for fax, email voting records from Bay County

Tampa Bay Times by Samantha Gross

November 14, 2018

Democrat Bill Nelson has filed a recount-related lawsuit. Again.

The incumbent candidate for U.S. Senate, who has filed two other lawsuits in the past week, is suing Bay County Supervisor of Elections Mark Andersen for copies of vote-by-mail ballots received via e-mail or fax.
Andersen allegedly failed to comply with a records request sent Monday, according to a complaint filed Wednesday.

The supervisor told the Times/Herald on Monday that 11 ballots were accepted by email and 147 ballots were domestically faxed in, though state statute does not allow emailed ballots, and faxing in ballots is only permitted for military and voters overseas.

Andersen was not aware that a lawsuit had been filed until he received a call from a reporter Thursday inquiring about the filing.

A guide to all the lawsuits

What happens if recount deadline can’t be met?

After learning of the lawsuit from the Times/Herald, he angrily questioned the lawyers’ decision to file a complaint, saying “that man ought to be ashamed of himself too.”

“I get a call from a reporter about a lawsuit that I know nothing of, so who’s playing games?” he said.

Andersen responded to the requests for public records, and said he would “respond in a timely manner.” He added that the office is preoccupied, with some staff still “putting their lives back together” after Hurricane Michael.

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