Although Gov. Rick Scott said Thursday evening both in a news conference and on Fox News that he has asked the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate voter fraud in Broward County, no such investigation is underway.
A spokesman for the department said Friday it is working with the Florida Department of State, standing by to investigate any allegations of voter fraud, but has not been advised of any such allegations yet.
The denial was first reported Friday afternoon by the Tampa Bay Times’ Steve Bousquet.
Scott’s assertions, that he was sicking the state’s police on elections supervisors overseeing his election’s vote counts, was seized upon by U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson‘s elections attorney and other Democrats as an apparent abuse of power.
Scott said Thursday evening on the steps of the Florida Governor’s Mansion that he has asked the FDLE to investigate the Broward County and Palm Beach County supervisors of elections. He suggesting that, based on reports that both had found thousands of additional ballots since Tuesday night, the two South Florida counties are actively engaging in partisan-fueled election fraud.
He repeated the assertion on Sean Hannity‘s show on Fox News later Thursday night.
“I’ve asked the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to immediately do an investigation,” he told Hannity.
Nelson’s attorney Marc Elias responded Friday by declaring that it is “not appropriate for the Governor of any state to suggest that he is going to use the powers of the state as Governor to interject his law enforcement authority to prevent the counting of ballots that have been lawfully cast, especially in an election in which he stands.”
However, it’s not actually happening.
“This morning the FDLE communicated with the Department of State and they indicated at the time that they have no allegations of fraud,” FDLE spokesman Jeremy Burns said Friday afternoon. “We offered our assistance in the event that any criminal allegations are identified, and we will remain in contact with them.”