Three Florida voters have launched a recount effort in their state, suing on Monday for a hand recount of all paper ballots and alleging the state's official presidential election results were incorrect due to hacking, malfunctioning voting machines, and other problems.
President-elect Donald Trump won Florida with 4.6 million votes statewide, securing 112,000 votes more than former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. But the three central Florida voters who filed the lawsuit (pdf) in Leon Circuit Court say Clinton was the actual victor.
According to the suit, the Florida vote totals "are wrong because of several factors," including:
- "the pervasive malfunctioning of electronic voting machine[s]";
- "over 25,000 mail-in ballots that were requested but never received in Broward County alone";
- "the hacking of VR systems, which provides, among other services, the the electronic voter identification system used in 63 Florida counties";
- "the abnormally high invalid vote rate in the state of Florida."
These concerns "are more than sufficient to call in doubt the results of the election," the suit claims.
The plaintiffs, under the banner Protect Our Elections, are asking for the statewide hand recount "at the expense of defendants including President-elect Trump, Gov. Rick Scott, and the 29 Republican presidential electors from Florida," the Tallahassee Democrat reports.
The Democrat further reports that "even lawyers for the plaintiffs acknowledge time isn't on their side. Clint Curtis, an Orlando attorney representing the plaintiffs, said the defendants may not respond by the time the Electoral College meets on Dec. 19."
Indeed, he said: "They can ignore it entirely."
Meanwhile, the Miami New Times reported ahead of the group's filing that the lawsuit "is a bit more dubious" than Florida's previous call for a presidential recount, in 2000.
The New Times reports:
The group claims the Diebold and Dominion voting machines the state uses are highly susceptible to hacking. Though that claim is certainly true, Protect Our Elections' lawsuit provides no evidence that Florida's 2016 election was hacked. The suit instead claims that, because predictive models said Clinton would win handily, Trump's win is suspicious enough to demand the state double-check the results.
However, the group points to a 233 percent jump in the number of uncounted ballots as evidence that something strange may have happened. According to the suit, 0.75 percent of the statewide votes were deemed "invalid" in the 2008 and 2012 elections. This year, 1.67 percent of the votes were invalidated."Excessively high invalid vote rates are extremely suspicious, and generally are considered an indication of possible problems such as machine malfunctions or tampering," the suit alleges.
Recounts are currently taking place in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, all initiated by the Green Party's Jill Stein. According to Florida state law, calls to contest an election must originate from a Florida taxpayer.