Judge Karen Geivers ruled Tuesday to extend the recount deadline for Palm Beach County until November 20 in Florida’s U.S. Senate race, according to reports.
The extension comes after Sen. Bill Nelson’s (D-FL) legal team filed a lawsuit in a federal court this afternoon in a bid to extend the deadline for recounting votes statewide.
The Hill reports:
Under Florida law, the state Elections Canvassing Commission must certify election results no later than Nov. 20. The ruling is likely to delay that process, leaving Floridians wondering who their next senator, governor and agriculture commissioner will be.
The ruling, reported by The Palm Beach Post, came in a lawsuit filed by Jim Bonfiglio, a Democrat locked in tight contest for a state House seat. That lawsuit asked the judge to extend the deadline for vote reporting in his race against Republican Mike Caruso.
Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner, a Republican, ordered recounts in the Senate race, as well as the contests for governor and agriculture commissioner, on Saturday. Florida state law requires that the results of initial machine recounts be submitted by Nov. 15. If a hand recount is required after that, local officials would have until Nov. 18 to submit results.
Earlier Tuesday President Donald Trump criticized Nelson for not conceding in his Senate race against his Republican opponent Gov. Rick Scott, who holds a narrow lead over the incumbent.
President Trump tweeted Tuesday: “When will Bill Nelson concede in Florida? The characters running Broward and Palm Beach voting will not be able to “find” enough votes, too much spotlight on them now!”
When will Bill Nelson concede in Florida? The characters running Broward and Palm Beach voting will not be able to “find” enough votes, too much spotlight on them now!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 13, 2018
Scott holds a narrow lead over Nelson. Trump did not provide additional evidence to explain his criticism of Florida voting.
In a press briefing this afternoon, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer claimed President Trump and Scott are attempting to bully Florida election officials out of doing their jobs. Schumer argued Scott should recuse himself from any duties connected to the recount. Nelson echoed those sentiments, saying the government can’t oversee the process in a fair and impartial way.
At the center of Florida’s vote recount storm is an elections supervisor with a checkered past whose Democrat-dominated county has been the target of protests. Lawyers for Scott assert Broward Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes committed fraud.
“I’ve worked here for about 15 years, and I have to say this the first time that this office or I have been under such attacks,” Snipes told reporters Monday. “There have been issues that haven’t gone the way we wanted it. You can call it a mistake or you can call it whatever you want to call it.”
On Tuesday, Snipes hinted to reporters that she might not run for re-election in 2020 — “It is time to move on,” she said — but quickly added that no final decision has been made.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.