With two days remaining until the 3 p.m. Thursday deadline in Florida’s machine recount, 25 counties have completed their recounts as of Wednesday afternoon according to the Rick Scott campaign. That leave 42 counties still tabulating votes in the three statewide races that recounts were triggered as required by law, with two counties — Broward and Palm Beach — still unsure if they can get their recounts completed by the deadline.
Bill Nelson’s legal team Tuesday filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking to extend the deadline for recounting of all the votes statewide in the U.S. Senate race.
While the votes are being recounted, the verbal exchanges continue between the Scott and Nelson campaigns despite the direction Monday evening from a Broward County circuit court judge for both sides to tone down the political rhetoric that has been surrounding the recount.
Speaking at a news conference with Nelson Tuesday afternoon at the U.S. Capitol, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called on President Donald Trump to “stop bullying, harassing and lying” about the Florida recount efforts.
“President Trump and Gov. Scott seem dead set against counting every vote,” Schumer said. “Why? They’re afraid that if every vote is counted, Bill Nelson will be elected the next senator of Florida.”
Under Florida’s recount laws, if the vote margin in any of the three recounts is less than .25 percent, a hand recount will be required with a deadline set for Sunday. Schumer says local elections officials in Florida should be given adequate time to perform the recounts.
Speaking to reporters during a conference call organized by the Scott campaign on Tuesday afternoon, Florida Congressman Francis Rooney defended the recount deadlines.
“What we got to do is keep the heat on these people to make sure they understand they’ve got to follow the law,” Rooney said. “This is about the law and personal responsibility of our citizens to exercise their vote in a constitutional manner.”
Nelson accused Scott of “using his power as governor to try to undermine the voting process. He’s thrown around words like voter fraud, with no proof.”
He’s tried to get the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to intimidate local supervisors of elections,” he added.
The Scott campaign fired back claiming Nelson is being used as a pawn by Schumer.
“It’s nice to see Bill Nelson emerge from hiding. But it’s surprising that he would want to appear with Chuck Schumer, who’s using him as a pawn and dragging his legacy through the mud in an effort to change election laws ahead of 2020,” said Chris Hartline with the Scott campaign. “When the machine recount is complete on Thursday, Nelson will have to decide if he wants to preserve his legacy and go out with dignity or if he wants to be forever remembered as the guy that liberal interest groups used in an effort to win the presidential election two years early.