Senate campaign chief: Scott 'right to be upset' with vote in Florida

Sen. Cory GardnerCory GardnerProtecting the outdoors: Three cheers for America's best idea Ex-Sen. Cory Gardner joins lobbying firm Biden administration reverses Trump changes it says 'undermined' conservation program MORE (R-Colo.), the head of the GOP Senate campaign committee, on Sunday attacked Florida election officials in the middle of a heated Senate race between incumbent Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonEquilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by The American Petroleum Institute — Climate change turning US into coffee country Elon Musk mocks Biden for ignoring his company's historic space flight How will Biden's Afghanistan debacle impact NASA's Artemis return to the moon? MORE (D-Fla.) and Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R).

Gardner said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that there is evidence officials violated the Florida state constitution in Tuesday's midterm elections.

"I understand Gov. Scott's frustration, that there are people who are breaking the law, violating the constitution in Florida in Broward County, in Palm [Beach County]. And so I think he's right to be upset," said Gardner, who is the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC).

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"Now what we have to do though is make sure that we are protecting the integrity of this election," he continued. "That we count every vote, that we count every ballot, that we make sure the integrity of this election is as strong as it can be. And that we keep out those attempts by some to violate the constitution."

Gardner appeared to be referring to a judge's ruling on Friday that Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes violated the state constitution by not providing public records on how many people voted in the county, how many ballots were canvassed and how many remained to be canvassed as the election moved toward a recount.

The judge's ruling came in response to a lawsuit filed by Scott's campaign and the NRSC.

President TrumpDonald TrumpTexas announces election audit in four counties after Trump demand Schumer sets Monday showdown on debt ceiling-government funding bill Pennsylvania AG sues to block GOP subpoenas in election probe MORE, Scott and other Republicans have suggested there is something nefarious in the vote counts taking place in the Senate race, particularly in Broward County, and that Democrats are attempting to "steal" the election. Those officials have not provided specific evidence that voter fraud is taking place.

Gardner said on Sunday that it would be up to the courts to ensure the election is held in a legitimate manner, and expressed confidence that the end result will be a fair one.

"We've gone to court. We've won those court cases," Gardner said. "We've proven that the violation, we've proven the violation of the Florida Constitution. And I think that has shown the courts have worked. So I believe this will be an election that we can be proud of, an election that we were able to protect the voters in."

Florida races for Senate, governor and agriculture commissioner are headed to recounts, with the first round of machine recounts required to be completed by Thursday. Scott narrowly leads Nelson in the Senate race, while Republican Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisOvernight Health Care — Presented by Indivior — CDC panel approves boosters for some, but not based on jobs Biden administration begins reimbursing Fla. school officials penalized over mask mandates Michael Cohen: Trump bluffing about another White House bid MORE leads Democrat Andrew Gillum in the gubernatorial contest.