Florida’s bitter recount battle lurches toward deadline

Published 7:56 am Thursday, November 15, 2018

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — With time running out, Florida’s election recount drama lurched forward Wednesday amid a maelstrom of courtroom arguments, broken machines, allegations of irregularities and President Donald Trump’s ongoing criticism.

Many counties have wrapped up their machine recount ahead of a Thursday deadline to complete reviews of the U.S. Senate and governor races, but larger Democratic strongholds are still racing to meet the deadline.

Republican Gov. Rick Scott agreed to step down from the state panel responsible for certifying the final results. Scott is locked in a tight race with U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson and has already suggested fraud may be taking place in some counties. Critics have said Scott should have no role in overseeing the election given his close contest.

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Trump, who has already lashed out over the recount, added to the growing partisan firestorm by arguing without evidence that some people unlawfully participated in the election by dressing in disguise.

“When people get in line that have absolutely no right to vote and they go around in circles,” Trump said in an interview with The Daily Caller published Wednesday. “Sometimes they go to their car, put on a different hat, put on a different shirt, come in and vote again.”