Nov 9, 2018

Rick Scott files suit against election officials as Senate race tightens

Florida Republican Senate candidate Rick Scott. Photo: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Florida Governor Rick Scott (R) and the National Republican Senatorial Committee filed a lawsuit late Thursday against the Broward County Supervisor of Elections alleging that the office withheld information on the number of outstanding ballots and how many people voted in the state's closely-watched Senate race, which could be headed to a recount.

What's happening: Scott claimed victory in the race Tuesday night against incumbent Democratic Senator Bill Nelson. But since then, the vote gap between the candidates has been narrowing. According to local reports, early voting and vote-by-mail ballots are still being counted in Broward County, and ballots that were mailed in are being tallied in Palm Beach County, both of which are heavily Democratic.

The backdrop: Florida’s hotly contested gubernatorial race between Democrat Andrew Gillum and Republican Ron DeSantis is inching toward a mandated recount. DeSantis' lead has narrowed to a margin of 0.47%.

The details: "I will not sit idly by while unethical liberals try to steal this election," Scott told reporters at a press conference Thursday night. Scott called out Marc Elias, an attorney whom Nelson hired, and claimed that he's trying to "steal the election." They're "mysteriously finding more votes," Scott said.

  • The lawsuit demands an emergency court hearing on the matter.
  • The latest vote totals show Scott has a 0.18% margin over Nelson. Under state law, a recount is required when the winning margin is 0.5% or less.
  • In response to the suit, Nelson's campaign said in a statement: The goal here is to see that all the votes in Florida are counted and counted accurately. Rick Scott’s action appears to be politically motivated and borne out of desperation.”

President Trump tweeted about the race Thursday evening saying, "Law Enforcement is looking into another big corruption scandal having to do with Election Fraud in #Broward and Palm Beach. Florida voted for Rick Scott!"

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 1,192,028 — Total deaths: 64,549 — Total recoveries: 246,148Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 305,820 — Total deaths: 8,291 — Total recoveries: 14,616Map.
  3. Public health latest: CDC launches national trackers and recommends face coverings in public. Federal government will cover costs of COVID-19 treatment for uninsured. The virus is hitting poor, minority communities harder and upending childbirth.
  4. 2020 latest: "We have no contingency plan," Trump said on the 2020 Republican National Convention. "We're having the convention at the end of August."
  5. Business updates: Restaurants step up for health care workers. Employees are pressuring companies to provide protections during coronavirus.
  6. Oil latest: Monday meeting among oil-producing countries to discuss supply curbs is reportedly being delayed amid tensions between Saudi Arabia and Russia.
  7. Education update: Many college-age students won't get coronavirus relief checks.
  8. 1 🏀 thing: The WNBA postpones start of training camps and season.
  9. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  10. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

U.S. coronavirus updates: Death toll surpasses 8,200, case count tops 300,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Recorded deaths from the coronavirus surpassed 8,100 in the U.S. on Saturday, per Johns Hopkins data. The death toll in the U.S. has risen over 1,000 every day for the past four days, since April 1.

The big picture: Trump said Saturday that America's "toughest week" is ahead. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the country should expect to see deaths continue to increase in the next week.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

World coronavirus updates: Spain tracks more cases than Italy

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

Spain overtook Italy in its number of coronavirus cases on Saturday. The global death toll has surpassed 62,000, per Johns Hopkins data.

The latest: About half the planet's population is on lockdown amid the coronavirus crisis. Fatalities are exponentially increasing across Europe, with roughly half of deaths worldwide located in Italy and Spain.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 6 hours ago - Health