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TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami) – One of the most significant legal challenges filed in Florida’s ongoing election recount went to federal court on Wednesday.
Lawyers for the Bill Nelson for Senate campaign challenged a state law that allows untrained election workers to throw out a ballot if they feel the signature doesn’t match the one on file with the county’s election department.
In several recent elections in the state, tens of thousands of ballots were reportedly rejected because of a signature mismatch.
“Given the closeness of this election, and the fact that the courts have declared signature-matching laws unconstitutional in several states, we expect this issue to be of considerable importance here in Florida,” Nelson said in a video statement.
“I ask each of you just consider whether or not you would want your ballot thrown out by an untrained, even though well-intentioned, election worker or a volunteer, all because he or she determined that your signature doesn’t look right,” he added.
The lawsuit asks for all votes cast using vote-by-mail or those “determined to involve a signature mismatch, be counted as valid votes.”
Democratic lawyer Marc Elias, the lead recount lawyer for Nelson, decried the signature matching process that is used to validate provisional ballots, saying there was a “complete lack of uniformity” in how those signatures were judged.
The lawsuit comes amid a bitter fight between Republicans and Democrats in the state over multiple electoral contests, including Nelson’s race for reelection and the gubernatorial contest between Democrat Andrew Gillum and Republican Ron DeSantis.