Broward County might not have any idea what its doing, but if you’re looking for provable voter fraud happening in Florida look to deeply Republican Bay County.
Bay County’s Supervisor of Elections Mark Andersen admitted Monday that displaced voters in the Hurricane Micheal-ravaged county didn’t file proper absentee ballots under Florida law — instead they voted by email.
Florida loosened some restrictions on absentee voting, early voting and voter registration in Bay County already, but it specifically stopped short of allowing what ultimately took place under Andersen’s watch.
“In the hardest hit areas, communication via phone, fax and email remains challenging and would be an unreliable method for returning ballots,” said the Florida Department of State. “Additionally, past attempts by other states to allow voters impacted by natural disasters to fax or email ballots have been rife with issues.”
Andersen defended his decision to violate this specific prohibition by citing how hard-hit his county was by the hurricane and that these votes, illegally cast, were votes nonetheless.
“If you want to turn around and take away these votes away from voters because it’s not the normal prescribed issue, I would just say you ought to be ashamed of yourself because what we did is take care of voters,” said Andersen.
But elsewhere in the state, that’s exactly what Republicans advocate. One of the ballots rejected in Palm Beach County for failing to meet the standard for signature match belonged for former Congressman Patrick Murphy (D-Florida).
Hey @MarcACaputo, just saw notice from @PBCounty that my absentee ballot wasn’t counted due to ‘invalid signature’ match. Should be +1 @NelsonForSenate @AndrewGillum. Must overhaul these ridiculous barriers to voting #FloridaRecount #FLSen #FLGov
— Patrick Murphy (@PatrickMurphyFL) November 9, 2018
“Why does this supervisor in this county not have to follow the law?” asked state Senator Kevin Rader (D-Delray Beach).
Despite Bay county violating Scott’s order and Scott’s hawkish attitude toward the electoral process in liberal-leaning counties like Broward and Palm Beach, Scott has been mum about Bay County, which narrowly supported his bid to unseat Democratic Senator Bill Nelson.
“Email ballots aren’t legal,” Rader said. “Why the double standard?”
Katelyn Kivel is a contributing editor and senior legal reporter for Grit Post in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Follow her on Twitter @KatelynKivel.