Election 2020

Marco Rubio Demands Investigation into Video of Poll Workers Loading Ballots into Rental Truck

(image via Twitter/Joann Knox)

A video surfaced on Thursday that appears to show poll workers transporting ballots from their private vehicles to rental trucks. Tim Canova, an independent candidate who ran against Democrat Debbie Wasserman-Schultz in 2016 and again this year, posted the video on Twitter.

“Caught On Video: Concerned citizen sees ballots being transported in private vehicles & transferred to rented truck on Election night,” he tweeted about a video that came to him from Joann Knox. “This violates all chain of custody requirements for paper ballots. Were the ballots destroyed & replaced by a set of fake ballots? Investigate now!”

Florida Senator Marco Rubio quickly jumped on the bandwagon, tweeting, “This video, posted by an Independent Cong candidate in 18 (who was endorsed by Bernie Sanders in 16) purports to show Broward County ballots being transported from polling places in private cars. Has anyone in local media looked into this claim or asked elections dept about it?”

While the video has the appearance of some kind of malfeasance, I can assure you that this is standard operating procedure in Florida and a number of other states. Obviously, ballots have to be transported to the board of elections somehow, so poll workers drive them there in their private vehicles.

It’s often the case that poll workers are instructed to take the ballots and election equipment to a drop-off point, where they are loaded into rental trucks for transport to the board of elections. In some states, like Ohio, a poll worker from both major parties is required to be in the vehicle, but that’s not the case in Florida. The ballots are usually secured at the polling place with a lock of some sort and the chain of custody is documented.

Although the video is dark and it’s difficult to see exactly what’s going on, it appears that election officials are following proper procedures. Whether or not this is the best way to transport ballots is a subject for another day. For now, it’s the law of the land in Florida and most other states. There’s plenty to criticize in Florida as it relates to elections, but this isn’t one of them. Conspiracy theories about grainy video footage aren’t particularly helpful to the process.

Follow me on Twitter @pbolyard