It’s heartbreaking that Palm Beach County is not being allowed enough time to do a proper recount. There was a glimmer of hope today when a judge extended the Thursday deadline. However, the Republican Secretary of State almost immediately invalidated that ruling with a legal maneuver obviously designed to stall action for a couple days – just long enough so the Thursday deadline will kick in and any attempt to extend it becomes moot. If that happens, the first count will stand, favoring Republicans. There’s so much at stake.
A Palm Beach County legislative candidate on Tuesday won and then quickly lost the first round of his legal battle to extend the deadline for election recounts to be completed as growing political heat generated lawsuits in federal and state courts in Tallahassee.
Ruling on a lawsuit filed by Democratic Florida House District 89 candidate Jim Bonfiglio, who is trailing by 37 votes in his race against Republican Mike Caruso, a Leon County judge ordered that Palm Beach County elections officials be given until Nov. 27 to complete their recounts.
However, Judge Karen Gievers’ decision to lift Thursday’s 3 p.m. deadline in Palm Beach County was trumped when Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner petitioned to move the case to federal court.
“We’re now in federal court territory, said Marisol Samayoa, a spokeswoman for the campaign arm of the Florida Democratic Party. A federal judge in Tallahassee, who is hearing other challenges associated with the statewide recount, gave all sides until 5 p.m. Wednesday to explain why the county’s deadline should or shouldn’t be extended.
In addition to Detzner’s legal maneuvering, incumbent U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, the Democrat who is trailing by 12,100 votes in his battle against Republican Gov. Rick Scott, also entered the legal fray.
Nelson filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Tallahassee asking that all elections supervisors in the state be given more time to recount ballots. The vote-counting will decide not only the U.S. Senate contest but the governor’s race between Republican Ron DeSantis and Democrat Andrew Gillum…