The counting is over, and now the recounting begins.
Five days after the the US midterm election day 2018, and it seems that the race is far from over, with drama and controversies over vote recounts in Arizona, Florida and Georgia.
The race in Florida is now war; after Republican Rick Scott’s lead in the Senate contest was reduced to just 15,000 votes. Scott, the state’s current governor, filed a lawsuit accusing Democrats of fraud and trying to steal the election.
“Law Enforcement is looking into another big corruption scandal having to do with Election Fraud in #Broward and Palm Beach. Florida voted for Rick Scott!” President Trump tweeted on Friday.
The following weeks in Florida could very well define the state over the next two years, and it’s likely to produce a result where half of the state won’t believe it’s legitimate.
After new vote totals came in, especially from Maricopa County (Phoenix area) and Pima County (Tucson), Democrat Kyrsten Sinema has taken a nearly 10,000-vote lead over Republican Martha McSally. But this count is FAR FROM OVER, with still nearly 500,000 votes left to count.
McSally camp is anticipating the worm to turn when the results of the "early ballots hand delivered on Election Day" are announced, which will likely be on Saturday/Sunday/Monday/Tuesday. Expect that Sinema lead to shrink when those votes are tabulated.
The increasing tense race between Republican Rick Scott and Democrat Bill Nelson in Florida's Senate race spurred lawsuits from both candidates. All but two counties have finished counting ballots, but those counties have caused the margin of Scott's lead in the race to fall drastically, from 60,000 to about 15,000.
Scott filed a lawsuit for "rampant fraud" in the counties that heavily favor Democrats. Scott requested an investigation and questioned whether Democrat-led counties had been taking longer to count ballots in some sort of effort to inflate the Democratic vote.
"Rick Scott was up by 50,000+ votes on Election Day, now they 'found' many votes and he is only up 15,000 votes. “'The Broward Effect.' How come they never find Republican votes?," President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter Friday.
The lawsuit led to a Broward County Circuit judge on Friday ordering Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes to release records requested by Scott and the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee related to voting tabulations. The ruling did not include anything about the accusations of fraud.
Democrats have responded that the recount is simply about determining the accuracy of the vote count. “The goal here is to see that all the votes in Florida are counted and counted accurately,” Nelson wrote on Twitter.
With a 25,632 vote gap to make up to take the race into a runoff, Stacey Abrams isn’t backing down.
Her campaign says that Republican Brian Kemp has not been transparent about the outstanding votes, and the state Democratic Party filed suit to seek extensions for some absentee ballots. Kemp, who announced his resignation as secretary of state yesterday, says there aren’t enough outstanding provisional and absentee ballots for Abrams to surmount his lead.