U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday made his feelings about the Florida recount following the midterm elections clear with a tweet, according to NBC News.
Without citing any conclusive supporting evidence to the explosive statement, Trump wrote that “many ballots are missing or forged,” and that ballots have been “massively infected.” He added that ballots are “showing up out of nowhere,” which could easily be explained by the fact that the state of Florida allows for overseas and military ballots to arrive and still be counted up until November 16, provided they are postmarked by no later than November 6.
Trump then added that Florida “must go with election night” counts, which would put Republican Rick Scott in the state’s Senate seat and make Republican Ron DeSantis governor. Both Scott and DeSantis hold narrow leads over Democratic opposition Bill Nelson and Andrew Gillum, respectively.
As the week bled into the weekend, both the races became close enough to trigger a recount as the Republicans’ leads shrank. By law in Florida, a margin of less than 0.05 percent automatically triggers a recount. As of Monday morning, Scott was leading by just 13,000 votes, with DeSantis leading Gillum by around 33,000 votes.
Throughout the election process, Republicans have claimed that the Democrats are trying to “steal” the election, making accusations of alleged voter fraud without evidence.
The Florida Election should be called in favor of Rick Scott and Ron DeSantis 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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 12, 2018
Scott himself has filed three different lawsuits regarding the election, per CNN. His lawsuit requires law enforcement officials to “seize ballots and tallying machines in Broward and Palm Beach counties during any break in the action.” The Florida Department of Law Enforcement on Friday said they had no active investigation relating to the elections, and the Florida Department of State stated there were no “allegations of criminal activity.”
On Sunday morning, the Republican spoke on Fox News, saying, “No ragtag group of liberal activists or lawyers from DC will be allowed to steal this election,” just before launching his lawsuits. The suits are to be heard in court on Monday.
The Democrats responded with their own unflattering comparison.
“Rick Scott is doing his best to impersonate Latin American dictators who have overthrown Democracies in Venezuela and Cuba. The Governor is using his position to consolidate power by cutting at the very core of our Democracy.”
Eugene Pettis, an attorney for controversial Broward elections chief Brenda Snipes, has already issued a statement assuring everyone that the voting machines and ballots have been secured inside their facilities.