Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., is suing the state of Florida in an attempt to get election officials to count all provisional and mail-in ballots.
The Tampa Bay Times said the lawsuit confronts a state law requiring elections officials to double check the signatures of those who cast provisional and mail-in ballots. Workers are required to reject those signatures that don’t match their records, the newspaper said.
Marc Elias, a Nelson attorney, said the responsibility of rejecting ballots because of signatures rests with untrained and unqualified election workers. As a result, legitimate ballots are disqualified, he said.
Nelson wants a federal court to issue an immediate injunction and declare “that all voters who submit a (vote-by-mail) or provisional ballot, and whose ballots are subsequently determined to involve a signature mismatch, be counted as valid votes.”
The court papers officially name Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner as the defendant. A copy of the lawsuit was posted online by Politico.
The lawsuit comes while Nelson and Gov. Rick Scott are running neck-and-neck for the Senate and are headed for a recount. As of Friday morning, Scott led by just over 15,000 votes, the Times said.
Meanwhile, Scott already has filed suit demanding Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes be ordered to turn over records detailing the counting and collection of ballots cast in Tuesday’s election.
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