Nelson seeks to push back recount deadlines in latest lawsuit

Nelson seeks to push back recount deadlines in latest lawsuit
© Greg Nash

Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonAl Franken says he 'absolutely' regrets resigning Democrats target Florida Hispanics in 2020 Poll: Six Democrats lead Trump in Florida match-ups MORE (D-Fla.) is asking a federal judge to delay crucial recount deadlines in a handful of races in Florida, arguing that local election officials in at least one county are unlikely to finish recounts by current cutoff dates.

Local canvassing boards in Florida are required to complete machine recounts in the state's Senate, gubernatorial and agriculture commissioner's race by Nov. 15. After that, if two candidates are separated by 0.25 points or less, it heads to a hand recount.

Nelson's latest lawsuit, filed in federal court in Tallahassee, seeks to extend both of those deadlines.

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It argues that officials in at least one county – Palm Beach – have already indicated that they might not be able to complete a machine recount by Nov. 15. The lawsuit also suggests that other counties may have similar problems.

"Unless the relief sought by Plaintiffs is granted, the State’s recount and certification deadlines will force local canvassing boards to unconstitutionally reject the ballots cast by Floridians that were improperly rejected on Election Night due to voting machine error and that would be counted in a machine or manual recount," the lawsuit reads. 

The lawsuit came just after The Palm Beach Post reported that a circuit judge in Leon County, Fla. extended the deadline for a machine recount to be completed in Palm Beach by five days.

Nelson's campaign filed another lawsuit in federal court on Tuesday alleging that current standards for evaluating unconventionally-marked ballots would lead to a number of lawfully cast votes being deemed invalid.