Posts tagged with "Andrew Gillum"

Florida recount: Judge defeats efforts to ‘throw shade’ at 4,000 Sunshine State voters

November 16, 2018

Efforts in The Sunshine State to “throw some shade” on voters who sent their ballots through the mail—many of them, members of the military—or who cast their ballots provisionally, or with questionable signatures, were defeated by Judge Mark Walker of the U.S. District Court of Tallahassee on November 15, the Washington Post reported.

Deprive The decision to provide two more days to count at least 4,000 more ballots came hours ahead of the Thursday afternoon deadline for elections officials to complete a machine recount—against which President Donald Trump and Florida’s Republican candidates already had been chafing.

Indeed, Trump tweeted early on November 12 that the races should be called immediately: “The Florida Election should be called in favor of Rick Scott [running against Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson for the U.S. Senate] and Ron DeSantis [running against Tallahassee Democratic Mayor Andrew Gillum for Florida governor] in that large numbers of new ballots showed up out of nowhere, and many ballots are missing or forged. An honest vote count is no longer possible—ballots massively infected. Must go with Election Night!”

It was not clear how the judge’s decision would affect the timing of the recount, which was expected to move to a manual canvass today in the too-close-to-call Senate race, in which Scott leads Nelson by fewer than 13,000 votes (0.15 percentage points).

Unofficial results in the gubernatorial race showed Republican former Congressman Ron DeSantis leading Andrew Gillum by nearly 34,000 votes—or roughly 0.4 percentage points.

According to the Post, while the ruling gave Nelson an opportunity to close the numbers gap, it fell short of the more sweeping decision his lawyers sought. In a blow to the campaign, Judge Walker declined Nelson’s request to count all ballots with mismatched signatures, sight unseen.

But, in his ruling, Judge Walker was very clear about the “irreparable injury” that had been inflicted on the constitutional rights of citizens “to cast their ballots and have them counted.”

He noted, “the precise issue in this case is whether Florida’s law that allows county election officials to reject vote-by-mail and provisional ballots for mismatched signatures–with no standards, an illusory process to cure, and no process to challenge the rejection—passes constitutional muster. The answer is simple. It does not.”

Specifically, the Post reported, Judge Walker noted that while the deadline to submit a mail-in ballot was 7 p.m. Election Day, the deadline to “cure” a mismatched signature was 5 p.m. Monday, the day before — meaning those voters not notified, or notified too late, had no recourse.

In his ruling, Walker said the plaintiffs, the Florida Democratic Party and the Nelson campaign, had established “irreparable injury” to the constitutional right of citizens “to cast their ballots and have them counted.” Specifically, Walker noted that while the deadline to submit a mail-in ballot was 7 p.m. Election Day, the deadline to “cure” a mismatched signature was 5 p.m. Monday, the day before — meaning those voters not notified, or notified too late, had no recourse.

State law requires canvassing boards to notify voters “immediately” if they determine that a mail-in ballot contains a signature inconsistent with the one on file.

“Here, potentially thousands of voters have been deprived of the right to cast a legal vote — and have that vote counted — by an untrained canvassing board member based on an arbitrary determination that their respective signatures did not match,” wrote the judge “Such a violation of the right to vote cannot be undone.”

He concluded, “This Court … is NOT ordering county canvassing boards to count every mismatched vote, sight unseen. Rather, the county supervisors are directed to allow those voters who should have had an opportunity to cure their ballots in the first place to cure their votes-by-mail and provisional ballots now,” he wrote.

Marc Elias, Nelson’s lead recount attorney, praised the ruling. “We look forward to ensuring that those voters who cast lawful ballots have them counted,” he said in an email to the DC-based news outlet.

Scott’s campaign said it was appealing the decision. “We are confident we will prevail,” said campaign spokesperson Lauren Schenone in a statement.

As recounts continue, the Post pointed out that the stakes are high: The Florida Senate race will determine the size of the GOP’s majority in 2019 and shape the power structure in the nation’s largest swing state. Together, the two sides have racked up at least 10 lawsuits trying to gain a legal advantage in the recount.

Research contact: @WaPoSean

Gillum on Trump calling him a thief: ‘If I’m stealing anything, it’s hearts and minds’

November 5, 2018

Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum gave President Donald Trump some strong pushback on November 1 for calling him a thief—saying on MSNBC’s Morning Joe , “If I’m stealing anything, it’s hearts and minds.”

Trump’s “thief” attack on Twitter referred  to an FBI investigation regarding possible corruption in Gillum’s administration during his tenure as mayor of Tallahassee. Gillum has not been convicted of any crime and has said repeatedly he is not the subject of the probe, The Hill reported on November 2..

However, that did not stop the president from tweeting, on October 29 at 10:54 a.m.:” In Florida there is a choice between a Harvard/Yale educated man named @RonDeSantisFL who has been a great Congressman and will be a great Governor—and a Dem who is a thief and who is Mayor of poorly run Tallahassee, said to be one of the most corrupt cities in the Country!”

Gillum said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe Thursday that his Republican opponent Ron DeSantis and Trump have taken this race “to the gutter” and are distracting voters with “sideshows” instead of talking about the issues, the political news outlet said..

“This is more the same of what we get from this President and from my opponent,” Gillum said.

DeSantis immediately sparked controversy just a day after he and Gillum won their respective primaries in August when he urged voters not to “monkey this up” by voting for Gillum, who would become the state’s first African-American governor if elected on November 6.

The latest CNN poll, conducted between October 29 and October 30, shows that Gillum is leading the race by one point—making it too tight to call.

Research contact: @owendaugherty

In Florida, Republican candidate invokes racist jab against Democrat

August 30, 2018

President Donald Trump’s pick—and the winner of the Florida Republican gubernatorial primary—already is dividing voters with his racist comments. Ron DeSantis’s  general-election campaign got off to a controversial start on August 29, when he went on Fox News and warned voters not to “monkey this up” by electing his Democratic opponent, Andrew Gillum, who would be the first African American to lead the state.

DeSantis, who has created a political persona out of the same mold as the POTUS, called Gillum “much too liberal for Florida” and an “articulate spokesman for those far-left views.”

“The last thing we need to do is to monkey this up by trying to embrace a socialist agenda with huge tax increases and bankrupting the state,” he continued. “That’s not going to work, that’s not going to be good for Florida.”

The huge upset victory by Andrew Gillum—who has served as mayor of Tallahassee, Florida—in the Tuesday Democratic primary for governor has made him eligible to become the first black governor of the Sunshine State.

According to a report by The Hill, Gillum—armed with an endorsement from Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) and campaigning on an unabashedly progressive agenda—unexpectedly defeated former one-term U.S. Representative Gwen Graham (D-Florida), the daughter of a popular former governor and senator.

The victory gives the progressive wing of the Democratic Party another jolt of momentum, coming two months after Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the cycle by knocking off the longtime incumbent, Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley in New York’s primary.

Gillum will now face off against DeSantis in a campaign that already has turned dirty and divisive. Gillum had not commented on De Santis’s statements at press time.

Research contact: @LA_Hagen