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As Recount Deadline Approaches, Nelson Campaign Files Lawsuit Asking For More Time

Victoria Fisher inserts ballots into ballot machine at the Orange County Supervisor of Elections. Recounting started today, November 12, 2018 in Orange County. Photo by Shanya Richburg.

Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson’s campaign is asking a federal court to give supervisors of elections more time to recount ballots as a Thursday deadline approaches to complete the recounts in Florida’s Senate, gubernatorial and agriculture commissioner races.

Some supervisors of elections, like in Palm Beach County, say it’s unlikely they will finish in time.

Florida statute says if that happens the pre-recount results will be used to determine whether there should be a hand recount. Nelson campaign attorney Mark Elias is asking the courts to step in to ensure a "full and accurate recount."

"These counties are working as hard as they can and no voter should be disenfranchised because they live in a county that happens to be very populated,” he told reporters shortly after filing the lawsuit in federal court.

The campaign is suing the secretary of state, governor, state canvassing board and other cabinet members. The court has asked for a telephone conference with both parties in the case.

It’s the latest lawsuit in Florida’s too-close-to-call Senate race pitting Nelson against Republican Governor Rick Scott. Nelson's campaign has filed lawsuits asking for mail-in ballot deadline extensions, a suit that challenges the state's signature matching policy and another lawsuit seeking clarification over voter intent.

The Scott campaign had no immediate response to the deadline lawsuit, but called suits filed earlier in the week "frivolous and laughable."

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.