Republicans seem adamantly opposed to the most basic principle in a functioning democracy: Count all the votes.
Usually a spineless Senate backbencher, a frantic Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) has taken to Twitter as a chief proponent of nonsense, lies, and fact-free conspiracy mongering about Florida’s close elections, saying, “Democrat lawyers… are here to change the results of the election and Broward is where they plan to do it,” reports McClatchy.
Florida’s current governor, Republican Rick Scott, locked in a close Senate election with Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, joined in the baseless conspiracy theories, taking the same page from Trump’s playbook.
“Gov. Rick Scott said his Democratic U.S. Senate opponent, Bill Nelson, is ‘clearly trying to commit voter fraud to win this election,'” writes McClatchy. In a cart-before-the-horse situation, Scott is going to Washington, D.C., pretending to be “senator-elect” — even though he hasn’t won.
Both Rubio and Scott are lying. In fact, the two unhinged Republicans can’t provide any evidence — because there is no evidence to back up them up. McClatchy lays out the facts.
There is no evidence of voter fraud in Broward County, according to election monitors from the state’s Division of Elections who have been stationed there since at least Election Day. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has not received a request in writing to investigate voter fraud from Scott. And the Florida Department of State said Monday their staff has “not seen any evidence of criminal activity in Broward County at this time.”
Rubio and Scott joined Trump and a host of other Republicans in anti-democratic efforts to undermine the integrity of elections.
Elections in Arizona, Florida, and Georgia have garnered national attention as votes are being counted more slowly than some would like.
Democrats, who have accepted the formerly noncontroversial position of counting all the votes, are working to methodically ensure every vote is properly counted. Republicans want to stop counting ballots, and leave some voters voiceless and unheard.
In Arizona, Republicans went to court to stop some ballots from being counted. Their voter suppression efforts ultimately failed, and when all the votes were tallied, the state elected Democrat Kyrsten Sinema to the U.S. Senate. Sinema will be the first woman to represent Arizona in the Senate and first openly bisexual U.S. senator.
Trump observed Veterans Day by demanding Florida disenfranchise thousands of military families serving overseas. Unhappy that ballots counted later are breaking towards Democratic candidates Sen. Bill Nelson and Andrew Gillum, Trump wanted Florida to only accept voted counted on Election Day.
As Shareblue previously wrote, “Florida law allows for votes cast overseas, including military ballots, to be counted through November 16, as long as they were postmarked by November 6. In other words, only counting the votes cast by Election Day would throw out military votes.”
Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp has a long history of voter suppression. In a close race for governor against Democrat Stacey Abrams, Democrats have won several court cases to ensure all votes are counted.
Across the country, Republicans are fighting in the media and in the court against the most basic tenet of a functioning democracy: counting all the votes.
Trump’s rage over votes may stem from losing the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by 3 million votes. Or perhaps he is still upset that his sparsely attended inauguration pales in comparison to President Obama’s.
While the issue of encouraging all eligible citizens to vote, and then counting all the votes, is a foundational democratic norm, Republicans once again prove that there is no issue they are not willing to politicize in order to swipe unearned power.
Published with permission of The American Independent.