Julio Gonzalez, M.D., J.D.
Earlier today, The Federalist Pages reported its prediction that Governor Rick Scott, despite the votes still remaining to be counted, would win Florida's senatorial race against incumbent Senator Bill Nelson, by a razor-thin margin of less than 0.25%. That was based, among other factors, on an estimated number of about 30,111 early votes in Broward County that had yet to be counted. This number of outstanding early ballots was based on the reported difference between the counted 665,688 ballots and the 695,799 turned in ballots in Broward.
Now, Fox News is reporting Broward County was claiming there were 707,223 ballots cast on Election Day, and that the number had subsequently increased to 712,840 ballots. Interestingly, as of this writing at 2235 on November 8, 2018, the Florida Division of Elections is showing 680,568 ballots cast in Broward County.
In the meantime, in Palm Beach County, where The Federalist Pages was unable to determine how many ballots had been cast and were outstanding, Fox is reporting that 15,000 new ballots have appeared. This while in the remaining 65 other Florida counties, the only ballots remaining to be counted, as required by law, are the military mail-in ballots and the provisional votes.
In the meantime, the election indiscretions have already flipped the Agricultural Commissions race from Republican to Democrat.
Since the publication of The Federalist Pages' prediction, Senator Marco Rubio took to Twitter to call attention to the possibility of voter tampering in Broward County. His series of tweets include an explanation of applicable Florida elections law and images of boxes full of ballots being unloaded in Broward County. If correct, such an act would be a violation of Florida elections laws.
In the meantime, a Democrat funded team of attorneys has arrived in Florida with the stated intent of "winning the election." And in another, late-breaking development, Governor Scott has filed suit against the Broward County Supervisor of Elections, Dr. Brenda C. Snipes, alleging noncompliance by the Supervisor of Elections with Florida's Public Records Act by not allowing the inspection of the ballots. The allegations are part of what appears to be a broader array of inconsistencies in vote counting. For example, mail-in ballots and early votes are supposed to be counted on the day prior to the election so that they may be recorded within 30 minutes after the polls close. Two days later, neither Broward nor Palm Beach Counties have complied. Additionally, in erroneously filled or damaged ballots, it falls upon the county canvassing board to determine the voter intent, if possible, and to fill in a substitute ballot under public scrutiny. There are allegations made that the Broward County Supervisor of Elections Office is undertaking that process at this time behind closed doors.
It is interesting to note that Broward is the same county that encountered such difficulties in the 2000 presidential election. Also of significance is Dr. Snipe's history of election indiscretions as determined by a judgment against her for having destroyed ballots in the 2016 congressional race.
Although nothing is known for certain relating to the Broward County Election results, this is going to be a long process for the State of Florida.
Dr. Julio Gonzalez is an orthopaedic surgeon and lawyer living in Venice, Florida. He is the author of The Federalist Pages and serves in the Florida House of Representatives. He can be reached through www.thefederalistpages.com to arrange a lecture or book signing.
Julio Gonzalez, M.D., J.D.
Dr. Gonzalez is an orthopedic surgeon and lawyer serving as State Representative for South Sarasota County in Florida. He is the author of The Federalist Pages