At an impromptu press conference Saturday afternoon, U.S. Congressman Matt Gaetz stood on the back of a moving van filled with boxes labeled “pallets of ballots” and called for the removal of Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes.
Gaetz said the boxes upon boxes of paper behind him on the truck approximated the more than 80,859 ballots that “materialized out of thin air” in Broward County and were added to statewide vote totals since election day. Full video below.
The Broward County Supervisor of Elections has not explained where the votes came from. In response, Florida Governor Rick Scott filed a lawsuit demanding access to public records related to the counting process. A Broward County judge ruled in his favor late yesterday afternoon.
The 80,000 newly added ballots have thrown the state election process into chaos, and triggered mandatory recounts for the U.S. Senate race, Governor’s race, and Commissioner of Agriculture race. Scott leads incumbent Senator Bill Nelson by 12,562 votes, Ron DeSantis leads Andrew Gillum by 33,684 votes. In the race for Agriculture Commissioner, Nikki Fried gained almost 50,000 votes from Broward County since Tuesday evening, to take the lead over Matt Caldwell by just 5,326 votes.
Caldwell has made it clear he expects a full accounting from the Broward County elections office as to where all the extra votes came from. Caldwell’s campaign pointed out that on Election night with over 98% of precincts reporting statewide, his lead was over 42,000 votes, with fewer than five precincts remaining to report from Broward County. The five largest precincts have a combined total of 33,000 registered voters, making it mathematically impossible for Fried to win the election, even if every registered voter cast a ballot and she won every single vote cast in the remaining open precincts.
Statewide turnout was below 70%, making Caldwell’s election night lead insurmountable. But Broward County’s Brenda Snipes wasn’t following state law.
It took attorneys for Caldwell’s campaign more than 14 hours to successfully serve a subpoena to Snipes. The Caldwell campaign said she ducked service several times over the past two days and refused to accept the subpoena. Caldwell’s legal team has asked for all public records including vote totals, executive team communications and any communications with third parties about counting of ballots. Caldwell’s team hopes to produce a forensic reconstruction of where the ballots came from in order to determine if newly discovered ballots added between Wednesday and Saturday are legitimate and legal.