Lawsuits pile up as Florida's recount deadline approaches

Lawsuits continue to pile up over the recount now underway in Florida.

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson and a Democratic campaign committee filed its fourth lawsuit Tuesday, demanding to expand the types of acceptable marks or words voters write on ballots.

After a limited extension was granted for the recount of votes for the governor’s race in Palm Beach County, Nelson’s lawyers filed a suit to abandon the Thursday deadline and give all counties the time they need to report recount totals.

The deadline for the machine recount is Thursday.

Governor and Republican Senatorial candidate Rick Scott, meanwhile, wants a closer eye on the counting, even in Hillsborough County.


Recount observers in Hillsborough County found themselves at the center of one of Scott’s lawsuits, which demands the observers be allowed into the room, instead of being behind a glass partition.

"If you were in there, you would be disturbing them and keeping them from feeding the machines and doing what they are in there to do," Republican observer Bruce York said.

After his office was targeted by Republican Rick Scott, Elections Supervisor Craig Latimer - a Democrat - wouldn't comment on the suit itself, but said he was unsure of why the lawsuit singled-out Hillsborough County.

In Broward County, Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes told reporters Tuesday she might not run for re-election.

When asked directly if that meant she wasn't running for another four-year term in 2020, Snipes said no final decision had been made and she would check with her family.

Snipes has held the Broward elections post since 2003 when she was appointed by then-Gov. Jeb Bush. She has won re-election since, despite a number of missteps and controversies that have led Republicans to accuse her of fraud.

Authorities have not found any evidence of fraud.


The White House has weighed in on the Florida Senate recount. President Donald Trump tweeted Monday that "An honest vote count is no longer possible" in Florida, without elaborating, and said, "new ballots showed up out of nowhere."

President Trump also went after Sen. Nelson for not conceding in his contest against Republican Rick Scott.

Trump tweeted Tuesday: "When will Bill Nelson concede in Florida? The characters running Broward and Palm Beach voting will not be able to "find" enough votes, too much spotlight on them now!"

In Orlando, Democratic gubernatorial candidate and Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum told a packed church of 200 supporters he would fight "with every fiber in my body" to make sure that every vote is counted as Florida's 67 counties work to complete a machine recount and face the prospect of a manual recount.

Gillum says claims by President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Rick Scott about electoral fraud in counties that were taking time counting ballots were equivalent to trying to disenfranchise voters.

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says President Donald Trump and Gov. Rick Scott are attempting to bully Florida election officials out of doing their jobs.

Schumer and U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, both Democrats, spoke with reporters Tuesday in Washington. 

Schumer says Scott should recuse himself from any duties connected to the recount. Nelson echoed those sentiments, saying Scott can't oversee the process in a fair and impartial way.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.