Rubio on Broward County Reporting Violations: What's Happening 'Isn't About a Recount'

Senator Marco Rubio
Senator Marco Rubio / Reuters
November 9, 2018

Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.), who has spoken out this week about potential malfeasance on the behalf of officials in liberal Florida counties, took to Twitter Friday morning to further express concerns about voter irregularities in the state's midterm elections.

In a series of tweets, Rubio noted that out of the more than 8 million votes cast in the state, only Broward County’s were still untabulated and unreported. The margin in the governor’s race between Democrat Andrew Gillum and Republican Ron DeSantis was at 0.4 percent Friday morning. The Senate race between incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson (D.) and Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R.) was at 0.2 percent.

By law, Rubio explained, all early votes had to be counted by Tuesday night. Nevertheless, "48 hours after deadline," Broward had yet to report all results.

By law, Florida requires a recount for races with a margin of less than 0.5 percent. Rubio, echoing remarks Scott made Thursday night, warned Democrat operative lawyers were "descending on Florida" to involve themselves in the overdue count and likely recount in order to reverse the results. He previously warned Democrats would be trying "to change the results of election." This was not simple a case of "incompetence," but of operatives trying to "steal" the election, Rubio said. The senator pointed to one Democrat lawyer’s comments that they were "doing this not just because it's automatic," but rather "to win." 

Out of dozens of counties, only Broward has yet to report how many votes were cast.

Rubio’s alarm at Broward’s delayed results follows its history of election irregularities and other scandals. In 2017, a judge ruled that Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes had improperly destroyed paper ballots in an election. Snipes kept her job but was assigned a judge to supervise her handling of mail-in ballots. 

Snipes’s problems, however, persist. Thursday, Scott accused Snipes of being "unwilling to disclose records revealing how many electors voted, how many ballots have been canvassed, and how many ballots remain to be canvassed."

Friday morning, Rubio shared a video showing Snipes leaving a Thursday night meeting without taking questions, despite her earlier promises to the contrary.

Rubio worried Florida’s self-inflicted election controversy could weaken faith in key democratic institutions. "The last thing our already dangerously divided nation needs is an important election [half] our people believe was rigged by the other [half]," he wrote.

According to Broward County’s own elections website, early votes had still not been fully counted and reported as of 7:13 p.m. Thursday. It presently reports 712,840 votes in the county.