November 13, 2018
Even as word came in early on November 12 that Democrat Kyrsten Sinema had taken 49.6% of the Arizona vote in the race for U.S. Senate against the GOP’s Martha McSally (48.1%), President Donald Trump railed against the continuing recounts in Florida—the results of which could change the balance of power in Washington, D.C.
The president alleged, without any solid evidence, that many ballots in the Senate and gubernatorial races were “missing and forged” and that a valid tally would not be possible, according to a same-day report by the Washington Post.
“An honest vote count is no longer possible—ballots massively infected,” the president tweeted at 7:44 a.m. (ET).
Instead of a recount, Trump suggested that the results from the night of the November 6 midterm election should stand, handing victories to fellow Republicans Rick Scott, the governor, in the Senate race and Ron DeSantis, a former congressman, in the gubernatorial contest.
Must go with Election Night!” the POTUS said.
However, the recounts continue. Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties began retabulating the vote on November 10, while Broward started on November 11. The recounts are happening in accordance with Florida law because of the tight margins in the votes, the Post said.
Notwithstanding those recounts, Trump is not alone . On November 11, Scott went on national television to accuse Democratic Senator Bill Nelson, whom still is hoping to unseat, of trying to “commit fraud to try to win this election,” the Post reported, noting, “His campaign said it had filed lawsuits against Brenda Snipes and Susan Bucher, the election supervisors in Broward and Palm Beach counties, two Democratic strongholds. Democrats called it desperation by a candidate sitting on a precarious vote lead.”
Scott made his comments in an interview on “Fox News Sunday” after his lead shrank to fewer than 13,000 votes in a race with national stakes. In a separate Fox News television appearance Monday, Scott called Nelson a “sore loser” and alleged that “he’s just here to steal this election.”
Nelson fired back on Twitter on Monday, the Post reported, writing that there is “zero evidence backing up claims by Republican extremists that Democrats are trying to steal the election.”
In the Senate contest, Scott’s lead over Nelson has narrowed to 12,562 votes out of more than 8 million ballots cast, the news outlet said—or a margin of 0.15%, according to an unofficial tally Saturday from the state. State law mandates a machine recount if the margin is half a percentage point or less.
The governor’s race also has tightened, with DeSantis ahead by a mere 0.41%. If that margin holds, it would fall short of the 0.25% threshold for a more involved manual recount.
The election results are slated to be certified on November 20. Newly elected senators are expected to report to Washington, D.C., this week for orientation. Scott said he has not decided his schedule yet. The Senate will swear in new members in January.
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