The Tampa Bay Times reviewed thousands of Telegram messages and more than 100 emails to Tampa Bay election offices. They show the role these theories are playing in fueling the recount movement in a state that Trump won by 371,686 votes. Some emails take issue with the use of Dominion-provided voting machines, parroting a conspiracy that has sparked billion-dollar defamation lawsuits against conservative television networks. Others suggest that the vote totals were off in Florida, though amounts vary from a few hundred thousand to 1.5 million. They allege sophisticated schemes involving hacked voting software and hijacked mail-in ballots.
Election supervisors say the allegations show a lack of understanding of how voting works.
Mark Andersen, the Republican elections supervisor in Bay County in the Florida Panhandle, said he spent two hours on a Zoom call with representatives from Defend Florida explaining how his office makes sure vote counts are accurate. He said the group didn’t know that his county already audits every ballot.
Andersen said he was open to considering evidence of fraud but he hasn’t seen any.
“Show it to me, if you have it,” he said. “But if you have stuff that’s just bogus, then stop with the bogus behavior.”