No allegations of criminal activity in Florida election, law enforcement says

Posted at 2:25 PM, Nov 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-09 16:25:51-05

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is not actively investigating any matters related to Tuesday’s election, a department spokesperson said Friday, after it was informed by the Florida Department of State that there have been no allegations of criminal activity.

The announcement comes just one day after Florida Gov. Rick Scott — the Republican candidate for US Senate in the state — requested the state law enforcement agency investigate possible fraudulent activity in Broward and Palm Beach counties as his race against Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson appears headed for a recount. Scott currently leads in the race, but his margin has narrowed as counties finish their counts of provisional and vote-by-mail ballots.

“Tonight, I am asking the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate this immediately and I am considering every single legal option available,” Scott said on Thursday. “No ragtag group of liberal activists or lawyers from DC will be allowed to steal this election from the voters in the state of Florida.”

Gretl Plessinger, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement spokesperson, told CNN that the department reached out to the Florida Department of State to offer their assistance with any investigation involving the collection and tabulation of votes in the 2018 election.

On Friday morning, the Department of State informed the law enforcement agency that they have received “no allegation of criminal activity” thus far as it relates to the election. The Florida secretary of state is Ken Detzner, a Republican appointed by Scott.

Plessinger went on to say that because of the message from the Department of State, her agency is not actively investigating anything related to the election, including the officials in Broward and Palm Beach counties.

The race between Scott and Nelson has garnered national attention in the wake of the midterm elections, with both parties amassing legal and fundraising teams to work on a likely recount.

The divide between Scott and Nelson is currently within the .25 percent margin needed to ensure the race would first go to a machine recount and then, if the margin holds, a hand recount.

“I would expect when we go into a machine recount and then a hand recount, right now the results are unknown who has won, and if I had to place a bet, I would say it is more likely than not Sen. Nelson will prevail in a recount,” Marc Elias, a lawyer for Nelson, told reporters on Friday.

President Donald Trump weighed into the fight on Friday as he flew from Washington, DC, to France, accusing Democrats, without evidence, of fraud.

“As soon as Democrats sent their best Election stealing lawyer, Marc Elias, to Broward County they miraculously started finding Democrat votes,” he said of Democrats’ top lawyer on the case. “Don’t worry, Florida – I am sending much better lawyers to expose the FRAUD!”