Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who has been accusing elections officials in his state of violating laws in their vote recount, is spotlighting a directive from a state Democratic Party leader he sees as evidence of fraud.

A day after the Nov. 6 election, as the governor’s race and a U.S. Senate race headed for a recount, the party leader directed staffers and volunteers to share altered election forms with voters to fix signature problems on absentee ballots after the state’s deadline, the Naples Daily News reported

The paper said altered forms in Broward, Santa Rosa, Citrus and Okaloosa counties were reported to federal prosecutors to review for possible election fraud.

The email obtained by the USA Today Network showed Florida Democrats were organizing a broader statewide effort to alter the absentee ballots.

Staffers were given copies of a “cure affidavit” form that had been modified to include an inaccurate Nov. 8 deadline, the Daily News said.

Rubio said the hope was that a federal judge would rule that the altered ballots should be counted, and that is what happened Thursday.

On Thursday, a machine recount of more than 8 million ballots confirmed Republican Rep. Ron DeSantis’s victory over Democratic Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum in the governor’s race while the Senate race between Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott and Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson heads to an automatic hand recount.

DeSantis won by 33,684 votes, but Scott’s margin of 0.15 percent over Nelson is well below the 0.25 percent difference that automatically triggers a manual recount of under and over votes.

An example of an undervote is voting only for the U.S. Senate on the ballot. An overvote would be accidentally selecting more than one candidate in a particular race.

Scott is calling on Nelson to concede. The Florida Division of Elections showed Scott leading by 12,603 votes, an increase of 41 votes from the last pre-recount vote reported Sunday.

Meanwhile, Gillum said Thursday he won’t concede because of tens of thousands of votes were not tallied in the recount, the Hill reported.


“We plan to do all we can to ensure that every voice is heard in this process,” he said in a statement.

Broward County’s machine recount will not be used because the office submitted its results two minutes past the 3 p.m. deadline Thursday, which rolls official vote totals back to the pre-recount results.

Palm Beach County also missed the deadline.

However, Nelson is suing in federal court for a waiver of the deadline.

Palm Beach County’s ballot-counting machine malfunctions forced officials to recount about 175,000 votes. Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher had said the county would likely not complete the machine recount in time, the Hill reported.

She describing her office as being in “prayer mode.”

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