President Trump tweets, weighing in on Florida Senate race

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – The Latest on the Florida election (all times local):
    
9:45 p.m.
    
President Donald Trump is weighing in on Florida’s hotly contested Senate race, citing the possibility of election fraud.
    
Trump tweets: “Law Enforcement is looking into another big corruption scandal having to do with Election Fraud in #Broward and Palm Beach. Florida voted for Rick Scott!”

Republican Gov. Rick Scott held a 0.21 percentage point lead over Democratic incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson on Thursday afternoon.

As outgoing governor, Scott said at a news conference Thursday night that he was ordering the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate elections offices in the Democratic strongholds of Palm Beach and Broward counties.

Nelson’s campaign released a statement saying Scott’s action appears to be politically motivated and borne of desperation.

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9:10 p.m.

Gov. Rick Scott’s Senate campaign is suing the Broward County elections supervisor to turn over records regarding how ballots are being counted.

Scott’s campaign and the National Republican Senatorial Committee filed a lawsuit late Thursday demanding that Broward Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes be ordered to turn over several records detailing the counting and collection of ballots cast in Tuesday’s election. They are seeking an emergency hearing as the votes must be certified by noon Saturday.

The lawsuit was filed about the same time Scott ordered state law enforcement officials to investigate the Broward and Palm Beach voting operation.

Scott has a narrow lead over incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson and the race may be headed to a recount. His lead narrowed as final ballots in heavily Democratic Broward and Palm Beach counties were counted Wednesday and Thursday.

No one answered at Snipes’ office late Thursday. Nelson campaign spokesman Dan McLaughlin issued a statement saying that all votes should be counted accurately and that Scott’s action “appears to be politically motivated and borne out of desperation.”

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8:45p.m.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is accusing election officials in two counties of trying to thwart the will of the voters, as recounts seem likely for several statewide races.

Scott said at a news conference Thursday night that he is ordering the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate elections offices in Broward and Palm Beach counties.

Under Florida law, a recount is mandatory if the winning candidate’s margin is less than 0.5 percentage points.

Scott, a Republican, is running for U.S. Senate and held a 0.21 percentage lead over Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson on Thursday afternoon. Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis held a 0.47 percentage point lead over Democrat Andrew Gillum. Candidates for the Florida Cabinet position of agriculture commissioner where separated by less than 500 votes out of more than 8 million cast.

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