A Florida GOP candidate is adding his frustrated voice to the countless others slamming the alleged corruption in Broward County as ballot recounts are underway.
Rep. Matt Caldwell thought he won the race for the state Agricultural Commissioner last week by 40,000 votes but over the course of the next few days, nearly 80,000 votes appeared that altered his victory.
“You were way ahead when you went to bed. You got up the next day, 80,000 votes appeared and your opponent is in the lead?” Fox News’ Steve Doocy asked Caldwell Wednesday in an interview on “Fox & Friends.”
“Yeah. It is totally outrageous. We’re just trying to get to the bottom of it,” the Republican who ran against Democratic opponent, Nicole “Nikki” Fried, said. “We were up by 40,000 votes on Tuesday night. Based on what was reported there was only 30,000 votes that could possibly still come in from Broward. So we declared victory, went to bed and over the next four days they found 80,000 ballots as you said.”
“And everytime we asked ‘where did they come from, are they vote by mail, are they early votes, are they day of?’ No answer Wednesday, Thursday, Friday,” Caldwell said.
“We finally had to file a lawsuit against them. In fact Miss Snipes refused to be served with that lawsuit twice,” he continued, referring to embattled Broward County Supervisor of Elections, Brenda Snipes, a Democrat.
“It took us a third time finally on Saturday to serve it. Got us in court here yesterday and the day before,” Caldwell explained. “We’re trying to get public records out of her so we can just demonstrate a chain of custody. Where did these votes come from because as of Tuesday night, there is no possible way she could have had 80,000 votes hanging out there. I think before we move forward we’ve got to get a straight answer on where exactly all these votes came from.”
“By law, isn’t she supposed to tell you guys where those votes, from where they came?” co-host Ainsley Earhardt asked.
“Exactly. If you go to any other supervisor in the state, 65 other offices can tell you which kind of vote it was, when it was cast, where it was cast, and what time it was reported,” Caldwell replied. “You’re required to finish early votes at 7:30 Tuesday night. There’s are no more of those cast after Sunday. It’s closed for 48 hours. She still had that line open until Saturday. How is that possible? You ask where are these vote by mail coming from? Is she voting votes that came in before 7:00 on Tuesday. Or is she still collecting mail which is illegal on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday?”
Caldwell maintained he only after transparency and is “not looking to win through a legal loophole.”
“I just want the truth. I think we deserve it,” he said.
A manual recount is set to happen once the machine recount is done by Friday, Caldwell noted, adding that the steps are “impossible to contemplate” in the midst of the problems with Broward.
“I haven’t gotten a satisfactory answer about the origin of 80,000 ballots last week in Broward County that would directly affect the outcome of race,” he said. “That is the answer we have to get before we move forward on any of these other questions.”
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