Common Cause Florida and the League of Women Voters of Florida have filed a lawsuit to keep Republican Gov. Rick Scott from having any involvement in the recount of the Senate race.
Scott is currently leading Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson in that race by just over 12,000 votes, a margin that has triggered a statewide recount.
The voter rights and ethics watchdog groups are seeking a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to remove Scott from any role in the process. The suit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida in Tallahassee, follows a letter the groups sent to Scott over the weekend in which they asked him to recuse himself.
The suit calling for an injunction alleges that Scott “has used the official powers of his office to interfere in the election to benefit himself and his political party and to intimidate the local officials and volunteers conducting the vote count.”
Scott had called for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate allegations of voter fraud in Broward County. Officials from FDLE haven’t found any evidence of voter fraud.
Nelson on Monday also called for Scott to recuse himself. The three-term senator accused Scott of “using his power as governor to try to undermine the voting process,” pointing to the governor’s unfounded allegations of voter fraud, his Thursday night press conference held at the governor’s mansion, and a lawsuit his campaign has filed to impound voting tabulation equipment after the machine recount.
On a Monday evening press call with reporters, Marc Elias, the attorney representing Nelson in the recount, said the senator’s campaign is not involved in the lawsuit from Common Cause and the League of Women Voters, but that it supports their efforts.