Tampa Bay Times by Miami Herald’s Jay Weaver, Elizabeth Koh and Alex Harris
November 9, 2018
A Broward judge ordered the county’s elections chief to turn over to Rick Scott’s campaign for the U.S. Senate an accounting of total ballots cast and a breakdown of votes by category — all due by 7 p.m. Friday.
Circuit Judge Carol-Lisa Phillips also held that Brenda Snipes, Broward’s supervisor of elections, was in violation of Florida public records laws for not fulfilling a request for that information by Scott’s campaign.
Phillips ordered Snipes to turn over the number of all ballots cast in Tuesday’s midterm election, broken down by absentee, early and Election Day votes. She also ordered her to provide the number of ballots still to be counted.
The information that Scott’s campaign sought in a lawsuit filed against Snipes “should be a matter of record at this time and immediately available,” the judge said. The campaign submitted its request for Broward’s ballot records on Thursday afternoon, just hours before it filed suit.
Lawyers for Scott, Florida’s Republican governor, rushed to court Thursday with claims that the top election officials in Broward and Palm Beach counties violated Florida law while counting voters’ ballots. Emergency court hearings were held Friday in both counties as Scott continued to hold a lead of less than 0.25 percent over incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson. About 15,000 votes separated them.