Judges ruled in favor of Florida Gov. Rick Scott's (R.) Senate campaign on Friday, ordering the Broward County elections supervisor to turn over voter information by Friday evening and the Palm Beach supervisor to turn over absentee ballots.
The judge in Broward County found election officials violated Florida's constitution by not following open records laws, according to a local NBC affiliate.
#BREAKING Judges in Palm Beach, Broward counties rule in favor of the Scott campaign:
➡ Order Broward elections supervisor to turn over voter info to Scott campaign by Friday at 7
➡ Order PBC supervisor to turn certain absentee ballots over for review: https://t.co/DVdgJRR0Xb
— Spectrum News 13 (@MyNews13) November 9, 2018
BREAKING: Judge finds Broward County violated constitution by not following open records laws, orders election officials to comply by 7pm. Ruling does not address allegations of fraud. @nbc6 pic.twitter.com/M1rK2RPsWj
— Jamie Guirola (@jamieNBC6) November 9, 2018
Scott, who holds a 15,000-vote lead over incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson (D.) in Florida's Senate race, has accused South Florida election officials of trying to "steal" the election for Democrats.
The rulings are a victory for Scott's campaign, as Republicans filed a lawsuit against Palm Beach County and Broward County, accusing their elections supervisors of not being transparent about votes still being counted.
Nelson's campaign has said it is preparing for a recount. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum's campaign has also said it is readying for a recount. Gillum trails Republican Ron DeSantis by 36,000 votes.
On Thursday, Scott ordered the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate elections offices in Palm Beach and Broward counties. The department found no allegations of fraud.
"I will not stand idly by as unethical liberals try to steal this election from the great people of Florida," Scott said.
Broward supervisor of elections Brenda Snipes claimed to not know how many ballots still need to be counted, appearing to blame delays on the ballot's length. Protesters stood outside the Broward election office on Friday afternoon, chanting "Brenda Snipes has got to go."
Palm Beach's supervisor of elections, Susan Bucher, responded to criticism of delays.
"I just felt it's very unfortunate that some of the highest elected officials in our country are trying to disrupt our democracy because they don't like the demographics of our voters. I would wish that they would allow us to continue to count the ballots, we're just doing our jobs in accordance with law," Bucher said.
Florida law requires a recount if the winning candidate's margin is less than 0.5 percent after the first unofficial count is verified.