When Andrew Gillum edged Gwen Graham in the Democrat primary for Florida Governor in August, many credited the large infusions of cash from The Collective PAC for giving Gillum the boost he needed to put him over the top. The group also provided financial and logistical support during the general election against Ron DeSantis, which included cash and text messaging support.
Now, with Gillum facing a nearly insurmountable deficit of votes against DeSantis, The Collective PAC’s founder, Quentin T. James, told FloridaPolitics.com that the group is eyeing the Florida recount and looking for ways they can help. From FloridaPolitics.com:
“Depending on results,” James said, the Collective PAC “may end up playing in this process.”
But recount help from Quentin James and his political group is the last thing Florida needs or would ever trust. One year after helping the Obama campaign win Ohio in 2008, he was indicted for vote fraud after having cast a ballot in Ohio where he wasn’t a legal resident and therefore not legally registered to vote. He plead guilty in November 2009 and received a suspended jail sentence and a hefty fine.
A few years ago, James attempted to have the record expunged, which would have removed the records from public view. But Ohio prosecutors successfully argued that that the state “had a legitimate interest in maintaining access to his [James] criminal history.” In other words, vote fraud is real and both the prosecution and a judge in the State of Ohio believed the case was important enough to preserve the public record to prevent James from expunging the record of the crime.
Here is Quentin James application to expunge his voter fraud conviction, and here is the State of Ohio’s opposition briefing.
DeSantis leads Gillum by more than 30,000 votes, but the machine recount is still underway. A state judge granted Senator Bill Nelson’s request to allow voters a second chance to “cure” ballots that were rejected by a signature mismatch, but he also excoriated state law and election supervisors in Palm Beach and Broward County when he called Florida “the laughingstock of the nation” for its inability to count ballots in a timely manner. He refused to extend the recount deadline past 3pm today.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, 47 counties out of 67 have reported results so far. In those counties, fewer than 4,000 signature mismatches have been identified. Many of those voters will take steps to cure their ballots, but only a percentage are likely Democrats or independents who voted for Nelson. Nelson trails Scott in his race by more than 12,000 votes.