Sorry, but even in banana republics, they’re a lot more discreet about stealing elections than they are in Florida.
Federal prosecutors are examining an effort by Democrats to count invalid ballots by giving a form with an altered date to absentee voters whose signatures did not match their registration. The altered date on the forms would allow thousands of illegal ballots to be included in the ongoing recount for the Senate and governor’s races.
The altered forms surfaced in Broward, Santa Rosa, Citrus and Okaloosa counties and were reported to federal prosecutors to review for possible election fraud as Florida counties complete a required recount in three top races.
But an email obtained by the USA TODAY NETWORK-Florida shows that Florida Democrats were organizing a broader statewide effort beyond those counties to give voters the altered forms to fix improper absentee ballots after the Nov. 5 deadline. Democratic party leaders provided staffers with copies of a form, known as a “cure affidavit,” that had been modified to include an inaccurate Nov. 8 deadline.
Remember: “Every vote counts” — even if it’s invalid.
Jake Sanders, a Democratic campaign consultant based in Treasure Coast who saw the email, told the USA TODAY NETWORK-Florida that he warned party staffers about the legality of the email, but was ignored.
“I warned FDP staff members of the questionable legal status of altering a state form and misleading people their vote would be counted before the court case played out,” Sanders said. “And coordinated campaign leadership told them to keep pushing it that ‘We are exhausting every possibility’.”
Sanders said the legality of the email was never discussed.
To Sanders, the party was not being upfront with voters and “undermining making sure every vote counts.”
“They should have been saying, ‘This is unprecedented. We are fighting for your vote to count. Fill this out so we can fight for you.’ But self-imposing a fake deadline and deceiving people is counter to that,” Sanders said.
With the razor-thin margins involved in both the Senate and governor’s race, every little bit helps — especially when the effort to defraud the voters of Florida is happening in largely Democratic counties.
Is anyone on the planet surprised that Broward County is front and center in the effort to deceive?
U.S. Chief Judge Mark Walker ruled Thursday that voters should have until Saturday to correct signatures on ballots, a move that could open the door for these ballots returned with altered forms to be counted. Republicans supporting Gov. Rick Scott, who leads U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson by less than 13,000 votes in the recount, appealed the ruling.
The Democratic Party email was sent before Nelson and his party allies filed a series of lawsuits challenging some voting rules that applied during the election, claiming they disenfranchised voters.
Some Democrats should go to jail for this. Instead, they are likely to get a slap on the wrist and be sent on their way, free to practice their ballot shenanigans again and again.
Because in Florida, Democrats will keep counting until they get the result they want.