Look, the Broward County Supervisor of Elections Office sucks. It screwed up in 2000, got caught breaking the law by deleting ballots in 2016, and is in full-scale chaos right now. Oft-embattled Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes says she has no idea how many provisional and absentee ballots are left to be counted in her office.
But as it stands, there is zero evidence that the Democratic Party is, in any way, trying to "steal" this election from Republicans. That sort of rhetoric erodes the public's (admittedly low) trust in the validity of American elections. People could legitimately riot if they believed a candidate "stole" an election — yet Sen. Marco Rubio is having a meltdown right now on Twitter-Dot-Com and claiming that Snipes and Democratic "lawyers" are trying to "steal" the U.S. Senate race from Rick Scott in order to give it to Bill Nelson. Rubio, a guy who spends a ton of time whining that people are not more "civil" toward Republicans like him, is tiptoeing into InfoWars/Trumpian territory.
Plus, a few reporters have pointed out already that some of Rubio's points are factually incorrect:
Though Rubio is correct that the Broward elections department absolutely sucks, the office has never been accused (credibly, at least) of tampering with election results or illegally tipping the scales toward one candidate. There's also zero evidence that the Democratic "lawyers" Rubio references are up to anything more nefarious than normal.
Rubio is also leaving out some really important details. For one, Snipes was a Jeb Bush appointee, so she's not exactly an obvious partisan. Two: The person in charge of election recounts at the state level is Secretary of State Ken Detzner, whom Scott appointed to the job. Detzner and Scott were repeatedly accused of working together to hatch schemes designed to suppress Democratic votes over the past eight years. It is, frankly, a blatant conflict of interest for Detzner to oversee Scott's recount, but Rubio isn't complaining about that here.
Instead, he's also asking factually bunk questions such as this one, which Sun Sentinel (and former New Times) reporter Dan Sweeney easily debunked already:
That hasn't stopped members of the right-wing-media echo chamber from repeating Rubio's bunk assertions. Federalist writer and reptile-creature Sean M. Davis already claimed today that the Democrats are "working to steal another election in Florida." It's unclear what he means by "another," because there's no evidence Democrats ever "stole" an election in the first place.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Miami New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Miami's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Rubio also compared voting results from Broward, one of the largest counties in Florida, to those of Bay County, which is comparatively tiny:
Instead, it is clear that the margins this year are artificially close due to voter suppression — one in five black Floridians could not vote in this race due to a Jim Crow-era, demonstrably racist law that banned formerly incarcerated people from voting. That law was repealed two days ago — it's hard not to wonder what these results might have looked like had 1.4 million extra people been able to cast ballots. But, of course, Rubio isn't concerned about that today.
Such, of course, is the problem with the admittedly terrible Broward elections office. The longer Snipes is allowed to run such a disorganized mess, the more it erodes the public's trust in the state elections process.