It was Ed Morrissey who first pointed out the number of “hilarious” things going on in the ongoing Florida vote-counting debacle. Of course, it’s only hilarious if you’re looking for an excuse to laugh rather than cry because of how badly this could all turn out. No matter your preferences, get ready for some more side-splitting humor from the Sunshine State. This episode comes to us from a hall in Palm Beach County where Canvassing Board officials (including Susan Bucher) were reviewing provisional ballots. In an election this close they’ll have to count every last vote, and that includes the provisional ballots from people who were not allowed to cast a normal ballot on election day for one reason or another.
The Daily Caller News Foundation published the transcript of one of these episodes where a provisional ballot didn’t meet the requirements and needed to be rejected. And it was for a very obvious reason.
Lawyers for Florida candidates Andrew Gillum and Bill Nelson both fought to prevent a non-citizen’s vote from being excluded Friday night, according to a transcript of a Palm Beach County Canvassing Board proceeding obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation…
Michael Barnett, chairman of the Palm Beach Republican Party, told The DCNF that the county’s canvassing board was going through provisional ballots and quickly deciding whether to allow or disallow each. This exchange is of the first non-citizen’s vote they encountered. “We had a court reporter that we hired to sit in the proceedings, which are public,” he said.
Here’s the exact exchange between the clerk, Susan Bucher, Judge August Bonavita and the attorneys representing Bill Nelson and Andrew Gillum.
CLERK: Katia (redacted) [Phonetic]
MS. BUCHER: Denial. Not a U.S. citizen.
JUDGE BONAVITA: First one of these we’ve seen.
MS. BUCHER: Not a U.S. citizen; not counted.
MR. SCAROLA: Objection, Nelson
MS. GONZALEZ: Objection, Gillum
JUDGE BONAVITA: Noted.
It sounds as if the Canvassing Board was fairly confident in their conclusion that the ballot in question was cast by a non-citizen. Perhaps adding to the fun is the name of the person attempting to cast the vote. We don’t know the surname, but the fact that it was listed “phonetically” indicates it was probably a tricky one to say. And the first name “Katia” is a female name of Russian origin meaning “pure.” So there was a Russian trying to vote in a U.S. election in Florida?
But more to the point, why were the attorneys for Gillum and Nelson objecting to having the ballot denied? The DCNF contacted Marc Elias (one of Nelson’s attorneys who we’ve discussed here before), and he claimed that Mr. Scarola “was not someone we had authorized to make such an objection.” He went on to say that non-citizens are not allowed to vote in U.S. elections.
Fair enough, but if you don’t know how this attorney wound up supervising that review, how do you know how many more ballots they filed objections for? If these two were objecting to the denial of a vote cast by a Russian non-citizen there’s probably no telling how many others they wanted to push through.
But like I said… hilarious, right?