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As the week closes out in the Florida recount legal battle for the Senate and governor's races, most of the filings in federal court have been ruled on and there remains one more in state court that we are watching closely from Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson's team, which is attempting to argue that all 588,000-plus ballots in Palm Beach County for the Senate race should be hand recounted. It's unclear how that ruling will come down, but it’s being heard today.
Here are the week’s top cases, how they were ruled on and why it matters. These may change and more cases could be added but here is the current state of play:
Issue - Signature - Vote-by-mail - Absentee - Ballots
The issue: Signature matching on vote-by-mail, absentee, and provisional ballots.
The ruling: In favor of Democrats — signature matching deadline is extended until Saturday at 5 p.m. Republican lawyers filed an appeal in circuit court, which was then denied.
Voters - Ballots - Issues - Opportunity - Issues
What does it mean? About 4,000 voters whose ballots were rejected due to signature matching issues now have an opportunity to “cure” or rectify those issues so that their vote may be counted.
The issue: Deadlines for vote-by mail ballots and whether they should be counted based on when they are received by counties OR when they are postmarked (current rule says when they are received).
The ruling: None yet.
What does it mean? If a judge were to rule that ballots should be counted based on when they are post-marked, not when they are received, it would put thousands more votes into play statewide.
Issue - Intent - Hand - Recount
The issue: How voter intent is judged during a hand recount.
The ruling: Judge Mark Walker...
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