Protesters gather outside Broward elections office as recounts underway

US Rep. Ted Deutch blasts those who claim election fraud

By Madeleine Wright - Reporter, Trent Kelly - Reporter

LAUDERHILL, Fla. - U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Florida, went to the Broward County Supervisor of Elections office Monday morning to defend the recount for the governor and Senate races.

He also blasted those who claim election fraud.

"What we saw over the weekend, starting Thursday with the governor's press conference and continuing right into the weekend with statements from the governor, Sen. Rubio and President Trump, is an attempt to undermine people's faith in what's happening in Florida and, ultimately, undermine people's faith in our democracy," Deutch said. 

The congressman said every valid vote needs to be counted.

Two more scanning machines were added to the lineup Monday morning in Broward to help with the recount process, bringing the total to 12.

First workers had to zero out the vote-counting machines Sunday, so ballots from previous elections wouldn't be counted.

Then there was a glitch, which delayed the process for hours.

Eventually, crews were able to get the machines back to 100 percent.

While that was going on inside, protesters were gathering outside for the third day in a row. 
Protesters are both critical and suspicious of the process.

"There's no way some of these people, Democratic candidates, could have surpassed the Republicans in a normal election. There's an obvious fix," protester John Virginio said. 

Republican Senate candidate Rick Scott has accused Broward County Supervisor of Elections Dr. Brenda Snipes of election fraud.

Snipes' lawyer calls those allegations unfounded.

If after the machine recount, the margin separating the candidates is less than 0.25 percent, then that would trigger a manual recount.

Meanwhile, all hands were on deck Monday for day three of Miami-Dade County's recount process.

The elections office there also received a big boost thanks to the arrival of several new, high-speed ballot counting machines.

Election workers are staffed around the clock as they rush meet Thursday's 3 p.m. deadline.

This, as a lawyer for U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson's re-election campaign has filed a new lawsuit in federal court, claiming the state is disenfranchising voters by not counting mail-in ballots received after Election Day.

State law requires all mail-ballots to be received by the time polls close at 7 p.m.

The lawsuit comes after 266 absentee ballots from the postal service's Opa-locka sorting facility arrived at Miami-Dade's election office in Doral on Saturday -- well after the Tuesday cut-off.

Those ballots were not counted -- a decision called into question on Sunday by members of the Miami National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

"How many more countless votes are out there that should’ve been in the process, should've been submitted to the process?" former state Sen. Dwight Bullard said. 

But county Commissioner Jose "Pepe" Diaz -- whose district includes Doral -- said he is confident in the county's recount process.

"I'm confident in Miami-Dade County and what they're doing here at all times," Diaz said. "I think Miami-Dade County, (Elections Supervisor) Christina (White) has done an incredible job."

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