The League of Women Voters of Florida and Common Cause Florida filed a federal lawsuit Monday seeking to prevent Gov. Rick Scott from using his official powers to influence ballot counting or the certification of results of his hotly contested race for U.S. Senate. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. district court in Tallahassee, came amid a recount in Scott’s race with Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson — and amid a torrent of litigation about ballot counting. Scott and his campaign have alleged irregularities in Democrat-rich Broward and Palm Beach counties, including Scott last week asking the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate.
As governor, Scott’s administration includes the Department of State, which oversees elections. Also, Scott serves on the Florida Elections Canvassing Commission, which is scheduled Nov. 20 to certify the results of the general election. The League of Women Voters and Common Cause are seeking a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction that would prevent Scott from “engaging, in his capacity as governor or using his authority as governor, in any decisions, directives, control, or influence, either direct or indirect, over the processing and counting of ballots in the 2018 Florida election for U.S. Senate, including but not limited to enjoining defendant (Scott) from participating, in his role as a member of the Elections Canvassing Commission or otherwise, in the certification of the results of the 2018 Florida election for U.S. Senate,” according to a court filing.