Trump seeks end to Florida recount as Republicans' leads shrink

Andrew Gillum

Trump urges Florida to end vote recount and hand elections to Republicans

He raised the stakes again on Tuesday, implying, without evidence, that officials in two pivotal counties are trying to rig the election.

Scott now leads Nelson by only 0.14 percent of the vote.

Back in Florida, Nelson's campaign on Tuesday also filed a motion to intervene to dismiss a lawsuit by a local Democratic politician in Palm Beach County who trails a Republican in his House District race by 37 votes. At this point, the Senate race is the only one that qualifies for a hand recount.

On Monday, the US President tweeted claims of fraud in Florida and demanded the state's contests should simply be called in favour of Republican candidates Rick Scott and Ron DeSantis. Though we have a solid Republican majority in our state house, our state senate has a slim Republican majority; a Gillum win, combined with a few more elections, could, at the very least, result in a split house and senate. "We'll give it our best shot effort, but what we need to do is machine-recount all of our ballots". But two of the pending four lawsuits ask that a federal judge delay the deadlines so that all counties can finish processing the crush of ballots.

Democrats achieved more than a bare majority in the House, and in the Senate, their gains grew stronger as Kyrsten Sinema was declared the victor in Arizona on Monday, over House Armed Services Committee member Martha McSally, R-Ariz.

In the race for governor, former US Representative Ron DeSantis led his Democrat rival and Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum by a margin of 0.41 percent.

It also suggests that little has changed in perceptions of President Donald Trump or the state of the country in the wake of the election. Manatee County election workers had to start over after about five hours of counting, because the elections supervisor forgot to press a button that would identify blank ballots.

State monitors and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement say there are no indications of fraud in the county's vote. State law mandates recounts in elections where margin of victory is within 0.5 percentage points.

Mr Trump said on Twitter that the elections should be called in favour of the Republican candidates who were leading on election night - because "an honest vote count is no longer possible - ballots massively infected".

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On Saturday, state election officials said Florida's 67 counties had to recount the more than 8 million ballots cast statewide because the results in three major elections - U.S. Senate, governor and agriculture commissioner - were under the 0.5 percentage point threshold that triggers the mandatory recount, according to state law.

On Sunday, Scott took to national television to accuse Democratic Sen.

Eugene Pettis, an attorney representing Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes in election-related litigation, dismissed Blackwell's comment as "political noise".

Senator Bill Nelson campaigns at the 65th Infantry Veterans Park on November 4, 2018 in Kissimmee Florida. "The characters running Broward and Palm Beach voting will not be able to "find" enough votes, too much spotlight on them now!" the president tweeted earlier in the day.

Scott has filed a number of lawsuits over the recounts amid ongoing election drama echoing Florida's dramatic role in the 2000 United States presidential vote recount. It's un-American. Attempts to bully, threaten and cajole officials into not counting every vote is a large and risky step away from the democracy we all cherish.

It is nearly a dose of irony that Snipes can not seem to get votes tabulated in a timely fashion this year; in the 2016 primary election, her office violated election laws by posting results 30 minutes before the polls closed. Republicans have responded by contending that Democrats want to bend or skirt existing election laws to alter the outcome. The county is doing the Senate race first and will then do the governor's race.

Palm Beach County voting machines overheated Tuesday night, forcing the recount of 175,000 early votes.

"I am urging because of the highly public nature of this case to ramp down the rhetoric", Tuter said.

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