Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) said Wednesday that his colleague Sen. Bill Nelson (D., Fla.) won re-election despite being down in the official count.
Schumer said he believes the consequences of a full counting will be a Nelson comeback victory, which is why Republicans "are trying to shut down the election." Republican Gov. Rick Scott and President Donald Trump have alleged fraud and called for Nelson to concede, but Schumer threw his support behind Nelson's claim.
"Bill Nelson is strong as could be. He believes, I believe, he's won a majority of the votes and as long as they're counted, he will continue being senator from Florida. President Trump and Governor Scott have just lied," Schumer said during a press conference with fellow Democratic senators.
Schumer argued there’s been no fraud, although officials have found ballot irregularities. He lambasted Trump and Scott for alleging fraud when no officials have concluded there was fraud, although Broward County’s proudly Democratic election supervisor, Brenda Snipes, has faced increasing scrutiny from many others.
Nevertheless, Schumer accused Scott and Trump of attempting to "shut down the election." A recount is underway, and the deadline for completing it is Thursday.
"They are trying to shut down the election because they're afraid of the consequences if they don't—in other words, a Nelson victory. That's what Bill believes, that's what I believe," Schumer said.
In addition, Schumer glossed over Broward County’s well-documented issues by saying they simply have more votes to count and have to "take longer."
"It is unconstitutional to say every vote should count in rural counties because they can count quickly, but every vote shouldn't count in the more urban and populated counties because it takes them longer to count the votes," he said.
Scott has declared victory and is attending orientation for new Republican senators. His campaign mocked a recent lawsuit filed by Nelson to count ballots received after the deadline as an attempt by lawyer Marc Elias to "pile up the billable hours."
Florida law also requires votes be counted according to certain deadlines, but Schumer dismissed that by pointing to the Electoral College.
"Those deadlines, you have to remember, were passed after the presidential election of 2000 because of the need to report to the Electoral College. We in the Senate don't have an electoral college and every vote ought to count," Schumer said.