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Nelson Attorney Wants All Mail-In Ballots Counted

Photo: Al Diaz, Associated Press

Senator Bill Nelson's campaign is suing the Florida Department of State in an effort to count mail-in ballots that were postmarked before Election Day but not delivered before the polls closed Tuesday. An attorney for the campaign said it’s voter disenfranchisement, but the Rick Scott campaign disagrees.

The Florida Department of State requires an absentee ballot mailed within the US to arrive at the county supervisor of elections office by 7 p.m. on Election Day.

A Nelson campaign attorney said some mail in ballots were delayed at a postal sorting facility due to a security threat, which meant they weren’t delivered on time. Mark Elias said voters overseas have an extended deadline to get their ballots to elections officials -- ten days after the election as long as they are postmarked by Election Day.

That’s why Elias is asking a judge to allow all mail-in ballots to be counted. “[The lawsuit] is aimed at one thing - which is ensuring a prompt, lawful recount with all lawful ballots counted, and counted accurately," he told reporters on a call Monday.

A judge is expected to rule later this week. Nelson’s campaign also filed a lawsuit contesting the state’s signature matching policy for mail-in ballots.

A spokesperson for the Scott campaign said the campaign"seems to be content filing frivolous and laughable lawsuits."

Republican challenger Scott holds a 12,562 vote lead over  Democratic incumbent Nelson, which has triggered a state-wide machine recount. After the count if the margin remains at less than a quarter of one percent of the vote, a mandatory hand recount will occur. 

Brendan covers space news for WMFE, everything from rocket launches to the latest scientific discoveries in our universe. He hosts WMFE's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration. Brendan is a native Floridian, born and raised in Broward County. He moved to Central Florida in 2005 to attend the University of Central Florida. He began working at WMFE as a college intern where he discovered his love for public radio.