Sen. Nelson files lawsuits challenging FL laws

Sen. Bill Nelson's campaign and the Democratic Party's Senate campaign arm sued in federal court to lift the deadlines on the statewide recount taking place in Florida, arguing that they are "arbitrary" and "impose a severe burden ... on the right to vote." CNN's Ryan Nobles reports.

Posted: Nov 14, 2018 3:46 PM
Updated: Nov 14, 2018 3:49 PM

The lawsuits are flying in Florida, as Democrats and Republicans fight over which votes should be counted in the state's hotly contested statewide recount and how long counties should be allowed to count those votes.

To date, there are several lawsuits pending about the recount, with the most litigious group being Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson's reelection campaign, which is hoping the effort will give them a chance at flipping the lead held by Florida Gov. Rick Scott.

Democrats, through the lawsuits, are looking to expand the universe of available votes, primarily by overturning a Florida statute that requires voter signatures on file to match the signatures on mail in ballots, reversing a measure that would allow votes postmarked before Election Day but received after to be counted and by expanding how election officials determine a voters' intent on ballots where a vote is not totally clear.

Nelson's campaign, led by lawyer Marc Elias, and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee are also suing to get rid of the Thursday deadline that requires all counties to finish the machine recount of votes. It appears, due to aging machines, that Palm Beach County will struggle to meet this deadline.

Republicans have also filed their own suits, including one filed by Scott's legal team against controversial Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes and another filed by conservative watchdog Judicial Watch that alleges voter fraud under Snipes. To date, however, there have been no reports of the kind of fraud alleged by Republicans.

Here's a look at the suits in play:

Democrats sue over signature matching

This important hearing happens today at 1 p.m. before Judge Mark Walker in federal court in Tallahassee. Nelson's camp is asking a judge to invalidate Florida rules that say signatures on absentee and provisional ballots must match signatures on file. If successful, that suit could theoretically put thousands of tossed ballots back in play.

Democrats sue to lift all Florida recount deadlines

Nelson's campaign and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee are asking a judge to allow all local elections officials "the time they say is needed" to finish "because the race was so close." There's a status hearing on this Thursday morning before that same judge, Walker, in federal court).

Groups sue to force Rick Scott to recuse himself

The League of Women Voters and Common Cause are asking for a restraining order to stop Scott from exercising any of his powers as governor in relation to the recount. They say he has demonstrated conflict of interest.

Attorneys for Scott told a federal judge Wednesday morning that Scott will recuse himself from the certification of the final election results in Florida.

The comments came during the status hearing in the suit.

While the governor's lawyers said Scott will not sit on the elections board to try to certify the result, that's only a small part of what the plaintiffs are seeking. They want the governor to not have any influence on the election canvassing process or use his authority to suspend election supervisors.

The judge did not make a ruling. A hearing is scheduled for 1 p.m. tomorrow.

Democrats sue over "voter intent" with undervotes and overvotes

Nelson and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee are asking a judge to strike down a state rule that requires voters to use the same method of marking different races in order for such ballots to be counted. For example, the suit argues, the rule would disqualify a ballot where a voter clearly indicated intent by circling a candidate's name in one race but used another kind of marking for different race. Dems believe there are thousands of tossed undervote and overvote ballots in their favor.

During a telephone conference today before Walker, attorneys for both the Nelson campaign and the secretary of state agreed the case is over interpretation of a legal issue and will not require a full hearing before the judge rules.

Walker asked for written filings and responses by tomorrow morning and could rule at any point after that.

Walker noted that there are seven recount-related lawsuits before his court alone, telling the parties: "The people of Florida need to get orders out of me, as well as the parties, sooner rather than later. There's a lot of reasons why time is of the essence."

State house candidate sues to extend recount in Palm Beach County

Democrat James Bonfiglio, in a recount for House District 89, sued to ensure Palm Beach County officials have time to review his race by the deadline. Interestingly, Nelson's team wants a judge to dismiss this case as not to hold up everything else. This case was just transferred from state court to federal court, so the status is unclear.

Democrats sue to allow the count of ballots that arrived late by mail

The VOTEVETS Action Fund, Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee are suing the state following the discovery of 266 ballots in the Opa-locka mail facility. The rules say mailed ballots must arrive in elections offices by election night, but the suit argues that voters should not be held responsible for the speed of the US Postal Service. This suit had a status conference Tuesday and Walker set a Thursday deadline for more filings.

Rick Scott is suing the Broward Supervisor of elections

This case in state court asks for an injunction to stop Snipes from counting any ballots not canvassed by last Saturday's noon deadline. This case is pending in Broward's 17th judicial circuit.

Agriculture commissioner candidate is suing the Broward Supervisor of elections

GOP agricuture commissioner candidate Matthew Caldwell, whose race is also undergoing a recount, wants 205 provisional ballots in Broward County declared invalid and no votes received after Election Day counted. This case is pending in Broward's 17th judicial circuit.

Judicial Watch is alleging voter fraud in Broward County

Larry Klayman, the founder of Freedom Watch and Judicial Watch, is suing Snipes, the supervisor of elections for Broward County, for alleged fraud, misconduct and corruption as well as denial of access to the inspection of ballots. This case is pending in Broward's 17th judicial circuit.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1000163

Reported Deaths: 16309
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1347632106
Lake660041156
Allen57441793
Hamilton46100461
St. Joseph44109607
Elkhart35696507
Vanderburgh32087477
Tippecanoe27796257
Johnson24902443
Hendricks23738354
Porter22802362
Madison18614404
Clark18424250
Vigo17347301
Monroe15180197
LaPorte15046250
Delaware14984259
Howard14626287
Kosciusko12217147
Hancock11630175
Bartholomew11505179
Warrick11255189
Floyd11013214
Wayne10897250
Grant9964218
Morgan9404176
Boone8863116
Dubois8227130
Dearborn817093
Henry8139151
Noble7984106
Marshall7838134
Cass7499119
Lawrence7403170
Shelby7138114
Jackson694088
Gibson6533113
Harrison644491
Huntington633999
Knox6273106
DeKalb626397
Montgomery6208109
Miami589797
Putnam575377
Clinton570271
Whitley560455
Steuben554675
Wabash5279101
Jasper524475
Jefferson506996
Ripley495685
Adams476073
Daviess4616113
Scott435869
Greene422096
Wells420987
Clay420260
White415962
Decatur4133101
Fayette404286
Jennings385160
Posey375343
LaGrange353978
Washington353249
Randolph341999
Spencer337342
Fountain332558
Sullivan326752
Starke313369
Owen312070
Fulton306567
Orange291762
Jay280445
Perry264752
Franklin264042
Carroll259132
Rush258832
Vermillion255454
Parke230026
Pike227943
Tipton226659
Blackford190540
Pulaski181855
Crawford158623
Newton156048
Benton150217
Brown144547
Martin137419
Switzerland134211
Warren120516
Union106815
Ohio84112
Unassigned0538

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1499485

Reported Deaths: 23327
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1626291662
Cuyahoga1447662412
Hamilton1044761409
Montgomery731681240
Summit610421094
Lucas55643904
Butler51076707
Stark459431053
Lorain35141568
Warren32476369
Mahoning30315672
Clermont27930321
Lake26669434
Delaware23960162
Licking23547283
Trumbull22550552
Fairfield22179241
Greene22098311
Medina21763305
Clark19630349
Richland18342280
Portage17696247
Wood17244220
Allen15730269
Miami15355296
Muskingum14551174
Columbiana13756263
Wayne13585263
Tuscarawas12479298
Marion11797175
Scioto11388154
Pickaway11286141
Erie10676180
Ross10462196
Lawrence9663137
Hancock9546149
Ashtabula9479197
Belmont9133197
Geauga8829157
Jefferson8481191
Huron8229139
Union810756
Washington8031137
Sandusky7724145
Athens769572
Knox7606138
Darke7553151
Seneca7208144
Ashland6817125
Auglaize667896
Shelby6410111
Brown628582
Crawford6184130
Defiance6087102
Mercer608293
Fulton592996
Highland590099
Madison587576
Clinton576190
Logan574692
Guernsey572467
Preble5660121
Putnam5250108
Williams520184
Perry512561
Champaign505071
Jackson498770
Ottawa479086
Coshocton471582
Morrow451256
Pike430762
Fayette422160
Adams411587
Gallia411265
Hardin411076
Van Wert364078
Henry357871
Holmes3567122
Hocking352578
Wyandot317961
Carroll297059
Paulding275945
Meigs259249
Monroe212953
Noble196546
Morgan190832
Harrison178242
Vinton162624
Unassigned05
Fort Wayne
Clear
48° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 46°
Angola
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 52°
Huntington
Clear
45° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 43°
Decatur
Clear
45° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 43°
Van Wert
Partly Cloudy
50° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 50°
The wonderful weather continues across the region Tuesday with our next chance of rain midweek.
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events