Today, Common Cause Florida and the League of Women Voters of Florida called on Gov. Rick Scott to immediately remove himself from any role in the recount of the 2018 Florida General Election. The letter urges Gov. Scott to recognize the clear conflict of interest in overseeing the recount of his own race for the U.S. Senate and recuse himself from any related role or warns that the groups will be forced to immediately seek a formal emergency remedy from the courts.
“We sincerely hope that Gov. Scott will recognize the inherent conflict of interest in overseeing the recount of his own race for the Senate and immediately take steps to remove himself from any role whatsoever in the process,” said Anjenys Gonzalez-Eilert, Executive Director, Common Cause Florida. “This should be an easy decision for Gov. Scott to make and we urge him to make it quickly or we will have no alternative but to ask the courts to remove him from the process. Floridians deserve free and fair elections, including recounts. As a candidate seeking to represent every resident of the state in the United States Senate, Gov. Scott must commit to recusing himself from the process.”
To view the letter online, click here.
The full text of the letter follows below:
Dear Governor Scott:
As one of the candidates for office who will be personally and directly impacted by the outcome of this year’s election, we the League of Women Voters of Florida and Common Cause Florida request that you immediately relinquish authority and remove yourself from any control of any person or agency responsible for the processing and counting of ballots from the November 6 general election.
Removing yourself will help to ensure that there is no appearance of any impropriety, undue influence or conflict of interest in directives being given to election officials. The citizens of Florida have a right to fair and impartial governance of the election process and you have an obligation to ensure that there is no impropriety or appearance of impropriety.
You have intentionally politicized governance of the elections by publicly threatening a show of force — calling for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the state’s highest law enforcement agency, to investigate “rampant fraud” in South Florida when the FDLE and Department of State have indicated that there were no indications of fraud or criminal activity. And you angrily blamed your opposing political party for orchestrating an attempt to steal the election. Just today you called on the state’s sheriffs to watch out for election violations and take action. These actions can easily be seen as intimidation of election officials who need to remain unencumbered while they engage in their very demanding work.
We request that you step back, release the reins of power and allow election officials to decide what tools of government should be employed to achieve the state’s paramount duty to fairly count each and every valid ballot. Florida’s officials must be permitted to conduct their official duties without further angry accusations or fear of retribution.
On behalf of every Florida voter, we ask that you to step away from taking any further role in supervising any official engaged in the process of ballot counting or election control. All valid votes must be counted and no governmental leader whose election hangs in the balance should ever take or threaten any action that could limit the value of any single vote or chill citizens’ desires to vote in our great state in the future.
Please issue a public statement that you will recuse yourself and remove yourself from any oversight of the 2018 election immediately or we will have no choice but to seek a formal emergency remedy from the courts.
President, League of Women Voters of Florida
Executive Director, Common Cause Florida