Sebastian Hughes, DCNF
A Democratic Florida congressional candidate who lost a special election primary by only five votes has issued a lawsuit alleging his opponent’s universal income plan essentially bribed voters, the Associated Press reported.
Dale Holness argued that the results of Florida’s 20th District special election primary should be thrown out because his opponent and winner of the race, Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick, supported a proposal that would give most U.S. adults $1,000 a month, the AP reported.
He called her advertisement of the proposal “a gimmick designed only to motivate people to vote for her,” with the goal of producing “false hope to underserved communities with the intention and purpose of procuring votes,” according to the AP.
The lawsuit also stated that 18 overseas mail-in ballots from military members and others that were rejected due to arriving after Election Day should be counted, the AP reported. Additionally, Holness argued Cherfilus-McCormick should face disqualification for not filing a financial disclosure form with the U.S. House.
In Florida, mail-in ballots need to be received by 7 p.m. on Election Day, unless they are from military personnel and other Floridians who reside outside the country and are postmarked by Election Day, the AP reported.
Officials in Broward County disqualified the ballots in question because they appeared to have been mailed domestically or had no postmark indicating the location they were mailed from, the AP reported. Holness argued the inability to verify that they were mailed outside the U.S. should not result in the ballots being tossed.
Financial disclosure forms are required, but many incumbents choose not to file them and are not disqualified from running, the AP reported. Holness said voters deserved to know how the $2 million Cherfilus-McCormick loaned her campaign was earned.
Mitch Ceasar, Cherfilus-McCormick’s attorney, said Tuesday that the proposal to pay $1,000 to every adult making less than $75,000 annually is an “aspirational hope” protected by the First Amendment, the AP reported.
He also argued all of the arguments had been brought to the attention of the canvassing boards that oversaw the election and had been dismissed. “None of the three allegations are even close to having merit. They are not in a gray area,” he said.
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