THE LEAD STORY - CHAOS IN FLORIDA - Accusing Democrats of conducting a coordinated effort to "steal" elections in a campaign of possibly "rampant fraud," Republican U.S. Senate candidate Rick Scott filed explosive lawsuits late Thursday against the top election officials in two heavily Democratic counties, as they continue to report new votes and three major races in the state appear headed for recounts ... In their lawsuit against Broward County, Scott and the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) allege that officials there are hiding critical information about the number of votes cast and counted. And in a parallel suit against Palm Beach County, Scott and the NRSC charge that the election supervisor there illegally used her own judgment to determine voter intent when reviewing damaged absentee ballots, while refusing to allow witnesses to monitor the process.
Scott is running against longtime incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson. "Late Tuesday night, our win was projected to be around 57,000 votes," Scott told reporters. "By Wednesday morning that lead dropped to 38,000. By Wednesday evening, it was around 30,000. This morning, it was around 21,000. Now, it is 15,000." A mandatory recount now appears imminent not only in Scott's race, but also in the agricultural commissioner race and Florida's high-profile gubernatorial contest between Democrat Andrew Gillum and Republican Ron DeSantis, based on new vote totals -- even though Gillum has already conceded. Florida law requires a machine recount when candidates are within 0.50 percentage points of each other. - Reported by Gregg Re (@gregg_re on Twitter)
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