Nelson calls on Scott to recuse himself in Florida recount

Incumbent Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonNASA adviser quits after request to change name of James Webb telescope denied NASA won't rename James Webb Space Telescope despite controversy FAA unveils new system to reduce planes' times on taxiway MORE (D-Fla.) on Monday called on his Republican opponent, Florida Gov. Rick Scott, to recuse himself from a recount underway in the state's hotly contested Senate race.

“[Rick Scott] should remove himself from any role in the recount process so the people can have confidence in the integrity of the election,” Nelson said in a statement. “Given his efforts to undermine the votes of Floridians, this is the only way that we can ensure that the people’s votes are protected."

Scott leads Nelson by roughly 0.2 percentage points, or about 12,500 votes. 

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The Senate race is one of two major Florida races in a recount, with one also underway in the gubernatorial race between Democrat Andrew Gillum and Republican Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisSunday shows preview: CDC signs off on 'mix and match' vaccine boosters Judge sides with Tennessee families in mask mandate fight GOP leaders escalate battle against COVID-19 vaccine mandates MORE

Scott in recent days has alleged fraud in two counties, claiming that election officials in Palm Beach and Broward counties acted improperly during the vote counts.

Scott has also taken legal action and on Sunday filed emergency motions in Palm Beach and Broward county courts, requesting that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and county authorities impound and secure voting machines when they are not in use.

A judge on Monday denied Scott’s request for an injunction in Broward County.

Scott’s Senate campaign has also asked a Broward County judge to stop the county canvassing board from including ballots counted past the Saturday deadline in the final vote tally.

Additionally, Scott last week held a news conference during which he accused Democrats of trying to “steal” the election.

"I will not sit idly by while unethical liberals try to steal this election,” he said.

In his statement Monday, Nelson said Scott is “using his power as governor” to undermine the voting process.

“He’s thrown around words like voter fraud without any proof. He’s stood on the steps of the governor’s mansion and tried to use the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate the Broward elections chief,” Nelson said.

“He’s filed lawsuits to try to stop votes from being counted and to impound voting machines. The reason he’s doing these things is obvious: He’s worried when all the votes are counted, he’ll lose the election,” Nelson added.

President TrumpDonald TrumpGrant Woods, longtime friend of McCain and former Arizona AG, dies at 67 Super PACs release ad campaign hitting Vance over past comments on Trump Glasgow summit raises stakes for Biden deal MORE has joined Scott in claiming fraud in Florida’s elections. On Monday, Trump called for the Senate and gubernatorial races in the state to be called for Scott and DeSantis, respectively, saying that "an honest vote count is no longer possible."

"The Florida Election should be called in favor of Rick Scott and Ron DeSantis in that large numbers of new ballots showed up out of nowhere, and many ballots are missing or forged. An honest vote count is no longer possible-ballots massively infected. Must go with Election Night!" Trump tweeted.

Updated at 1:34 p.m.