TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/AP) – U.S. Senator Bill Nelson has called on Governor Rick Scott to recuse himself from “any role” in Florida’s recount process.
“[Rick Scott] should remove himself from any role in the recount process so the people can have confidence in the integrity of the election,” Nelson said in a video statement released by his campaign. “Given his efforts to undermine the votes of Floridians, this is the only way that we can ensure that the people’s votes are protected.”
Nelson said Scott is “using his power as governor to try to undermine the voting process” and his recent actions make clear that he “cannot oversee this process in a fair and impartial way.”
“He’s thrown around words like voter fraud without any proof,” Nelson said. “He’s stood on the steps of the governor’s mansion and tried to use the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate the Broward elections chief. He’s filed lawsuits to try to stop votes from being counted and to impound voting machines.”
“The reason he’s doing these things is obvious,” Nelson surmised, “he’s worried when all the votes are counted, he’ll lose the election.”
WATCH SENATOR NELSON’S STATEMENT BELOW
On Monday, a lawyer for Nelson filed a lawsuit against the Florida Department of State in an effort to get vote-by-mail ballots, that were postmarked before Election Day but not delivered before polls closed, counted.
Nelson’s attorney, Marc Elias, said voters should not be disenfranchised because of mail delivery delays that aren’t their fault. Unofficial election results show the Democratic incumbent Senator is trailing challenger Republican Scott by 0.14 percentage points.
As an example, he cited the Miami-Dade County postal facility that was evacuated because explosive devices sent to prominent Democrats were processed there.
“Florida’s 7 p.m. Election Day receipt deadline for vote by mail ballots burdens the right to vote of eligible voters,” the suit said.
Elias wants all ballots postmarked before November 6th to be counted if they are received within 10 days of the election.
A spokesman for Scott’s Senate campaign said Elias “seems to be content filing frivolous and laughable lawsuits.”
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)