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U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) toured The Villages Charter School with Villages Charter School President Dr. Gary Lester. Rubio has long defended and supported school choice in Florida. While at the school, Rubio also met with members of the girl’s flag football...

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Video: Rubio: Level of Incompetence In Broward County Gives No Confidence

Nov 13, 2018 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) appeared on Fox News’ Hannity with Sean Hannity to discuss the ongoing recount for the Florida Senate, Governor and Commissioner of Agriculture races.
VIDEO: Rubio Joins Fox News’ Sean Hannity To Discuss Florida Recount

Rubio: Those early votes, the last time they were cast was the Sunday before the election. By law those are supposed to be downloaded and sent to the state by 7:30pm on the night of the election. Then you have to process the absentee ballots, then mail ballots that have come in before that time and then there’s some that come in Monday, and Tuesday before the election those should be shortly thereafter. They didn’t follow any of that. There’s always additional votes added to every county because people are voting from overseas or because you haven’t fully processed all the ones that you had by 7:30, but you’re supposed to update that every 45 minutes. They didn’t do that. We know for example, that as part of Broward County’s vote count it includes at least nineteen people who were disqualified from voting by their own canvassing board, who they only took the ballots to after being forced, after being caught and we don’t know how many others that may have happened in. And now we know they didn’t start the machine recount until this morning. After everybody else started Saturday or Sunday. Miami-Dade is almost done, so it’s irregularity, after irregularity.

And as far as stealing is concerned, let me make this one point on that: election lawyers are not coming to Florida to make sure every vote is counted. The reason why election lawyers get involved is to make sure as many votes for their client are counted, and as many votes for their opponent are disqualified. When you have an election office this incompetent and this law-breaking, it creates enormous opportunity for those sorts of arguments to be made and suddenly the election is decided by a judge or by lawyers, not by voters the way they’re supposed to be.

And so you talked about a case here, these provisional ballots are – they’re in an envelope and what’s supposed to happen is you present those to the canvassing board to decide whether or not they’re allowed to vote, she did not do that. She opened them up, she basically decided they were going to count, and she counted the votes, then she got caught, she said alright I’ll submit it to the canvassing board. They decided that 21 of them should not count, so they said okay let’s find the 21. It’s too late, once you pull a ballot out of the envelope there’s no way to match one with the other. So that’s just one example of some of the kind of things that’s been going on with this kind of thing, on top of some of the history that you’ve outlined with this sort of thing.

So yeah, it’s deeply concerning that they’re not following the law. They are not following the law. And that’s why we have election laws. I want every legal vote that was cast in a timely fashion to count. No one here is asking that not to happen. One more point and here’s what we’ve really got to keep an eye on. What will happen after the machine recount is any race in the state that’s within less than a quarter of one point, which will be the Senate race and the agriculture race. There will have to be a hand recount of the over votes and under votes, which is somebody skipped a ballot and did not vote in this race. Now the canvassing board, if the county teams don’t do it, have to sit down and determine did the voter intend to vote or not. And that’s where lawyers get involved and start arguing that mark here and a cross there and a circle over here was voter intent and the statue is pretty clear on that. That doesn’t mean anyone’s going to follow it or they’re going to follow it. So there’s a lot to be concerned about, and that’s why it’s so important to have scrutiny and transparency. And that we watch it every step of the way.

Well there’s no doubt that the lawyers are going to argue that any kind of mark that favors their client they’re going to argue it’s intent. The statutes pretty clear, the law says if you’re going to, for example, if you’re going to circle names as opposed to fill in the bubble then you have to do that consistently throughout the ballot. I’m confident the lawyers are going to try to get everything counted. I don’t know what the canvassing board is going to decide. I don’t know what some federal judge is going to step in and decide. That’s the point. This level of incompetence gives you no confidence about anything in regard to that office, and that’s why we’ve got to keep paying attention to what’s happening here.

No I think the margins are large enough in both of those races that they’ve been determined. But in the end, look, we win some, we lose some. I just want it to be a legal election so that people can have confidence. And in two counties we know they’ve violated court orders that Governor Scott went to court to get. So this requires scrutiny, that we keep an eye on it. We’ll have an answer here soon enough. I’m fairly confident that the outcome will not change, but like I said, we’re not going to take any chances with a department like Broward Elections that has repeatedly violated the law.