LAUDERHILL (CBSMiami) – Chaos erupted outside at the Broward Supervisor of Elections office in Lauderhill when an impromptu protest appeared ahead of Friday’s canvassing board review of 200 provisional ballots.
Provisional ballots include voters who didn’t have the proper ID when they went to vote, went to the wrong precinct, didn’t sign their ballot, were not registered to vote or had voted already.
So far, those ballots have not been tabulated.
Friday morning, anticipating protests, trucks used to transport election equipment were lined up in front of the tabulation center to form a sort of barrier.
About an hour later supporters of Gov. Rick Scott, who is in a virtual tie with incumbent Bill Nelson for a Senate seat, arrived and began chanting “lock he up” directed at Broward’s Supervisor of Elections Dr. Brenda Snipes. Scott supporters say there’s election fraud taking place to help Nelson.
“Even before the election, we knew that, mysteriously, they would find more ballots. As usual, it’s Broward County and Brenda Snipes,” said “Sharon.”
Snipes is in the crosshairs after the vote counting from Tuesday’s election has taken days to complete. With each new tabulation, several key races have gotten closer including the Senate race, the gubernatorial race, and the race for agriculture commissioner.
Scott, who once enjoyed a healthy lead, is now only about 15,000 votes ahead of Nelson, a number that if it holds would mandate a recount.
Scott has filed lawsuits against the Supervisor of Elections in both Broward and Palm Beach counties over the way they are handling the ballot-counting process.
During a news conference Thursday, Scott lashed out at both elections supervisors, calling them “unethical liberals,” “incompetent,” and part of an effort to “thwart the will of the people.”
Counties have until Saturday to turn in their first set of unofficial returns. If the vote margin remains under the half percentage point for any of the three races in question, Secretary of State Ken Detzner is required to order the recount.
A recount must be conducted before noon November 18th, when the official returns are due from each county canvassing board.
The Florida Elections Canvassing Commission — comprised of Scott and two Cabinet members — is slated to meet 9 a.m. November 20th to certify the election results.