Elections

Third Party Candidate To File Suit Against Florida Election Officer

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Phillip Stucky Political Reporter
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Independent president Roque De La Fuenta announced he plans to sue the Florida Secretary of State, as well as the Broward County Supervisor of Elections for election fraud Monday, according to an exclusive interview with the Daily Caller News Foundation.

De La Fuente cites a sworn letter from a Broward County election volunteer that reveals election officials filled in blank absentee ballots in a locked room, a behavior the campaign calls highly suspicious. De La Fuente is suing to expose a current hole in Florida election law, namely that officials don’t monitor closely for potential voter fraud unless the election is close.

“We are suing The Secretary of State to enjoin Florida recount law as unconstitutional in violation of Equal Protection, because it allows election fraud to be immune from judicial review and therefore encourages election fraud of the sort committed in Broward County,” De La Fuente told the DCNF.

Election attorney Paul Rossi reported that the campaign is focusing on Broward County due to a letter the campaign received from a former poll volunteer that alleges the worker found election officials filling out empty absentee ballots in a locked room. The notarized letter alleges that the volunteer saw four Supervisor of Elections employees filling out an unreleased number of blank absentee ballots. The Broward County state attorney’s office confirmed the Independent Journal Review’s reporting, telling reporters that the office is currently reviewing the allegations in an ongoing investigation. The State Attorney’s office later issued a statement.

“It was determined that the ballots were being completed by SOE staff on behalf of overseas military personnel who had voted by faxing their ballots to the election office,” the state attorney wrote. “The fax paper does not scan into the voting machines and the votes must be transferred onto a ballot that can be scanned. State law allows such a transfer of vote to a computer ballot.”

“We are also suing the Broward County Supervisor of Elections for Election Fraud impairing ‘One Man One Vote’ requirement of the Equal Protection Clause.  We are seeking $2.1 million in damages directly against the Broward County Supervisor of Election, Brenda Snipes,” Fuente continued. Rossi told reporters with the DCNF that the damages sought in the suit make up the campaign expenses De La Fuente incurred while campaigning in the state of Florida.

“We are also asking for a Court Order requiring Broward County to permit full and open access to all candidates to inspect and observe Broward County Election Officials to prevent future acts of election fraud.”

The Florida election supervisor named in the suit, Brenda Snipes, asserted that what the volunteer saw was election officials “replicating” damaged ballots, and transcribing that information as written onto new ballots. IJR reported Friday that canvassing board monitors would have to be present during such actions and that the volunteer’s sworn statement doesn’t mention such officials.

“This is the first time we have ever seen someone willing to make a sworn statement alleging voter fraud to this extent,” Rossi told the DCNF. We need to force a spotlight on suspicious activities so that we can make the process more Democratic.”

De La Fuente is not pursuing a recount, because state law doesn’t allow a recount except in certain conditions, instead, the candidate wants to shine a light on election practices that would be overlooked in a state like Florida, due to the state’s recount requirements, namely the fact that a recount is not allowed unless the results are particularly close.

Rossi asserted that current election law in the state of Florida explained he believes the current law actually encourages voter fraud from election officials, because as long as voting fraud is rampant and towards the same candidate, the results of the election won’t be certified with a recount or closer inspection.

De La Fuente is also pushing for a recount in the state of Nevada and Wisconsin, adding, “Hillary (Clinton) won Nevada by a narrow margin almost identical to that of President-elect Trump’s in Wisconsin,” said De La Fuente. “Why not audit Nevada’s results as well?”

“Jill didn’t qualify to be on the ballot in Nevada, so she can’t petition for a recount there even if she wanted to whereas I can.”

Snipes and the Broward County election board were forced to respond after the Florida Republican Party lodged a complaint alleging that election officials were opening “tens of thousands” of letters containing absentee ballots without first allowing representatives from the state canvassing board to oversee the process.

Broward County officials responded to the complaint to the satisfaction of the Republican Party, however.

“I am pleased that Broward County has quickly agreed to take corrective actions in response to the concerns raised in our letter,” RPOF Chairman Blaise Ingoglia said in a statement. “Florida’s voters must have confidence that the election process is fair, open, and transparent.  The Republican Party of Florida will continue to monitor the canvassing process to ensure there are no further violations of the law.”

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