Voter fraud: Elections chief orders changes after Post reports, state attorney probe

Palm Beach County Elections Supervisor Susan Bucher. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)

After The Palm Beach Post reported on absentee ballot irregularities and the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office documented 22 cases of forged signatures on absentee ballot request forms, Palm Beach County Elections Supervisor Susan Bucher is changing the way her office handles ballot requests.

Award-winning Post scribe Lawrence Mower reports that incomplete request forms will no longer be accepted, and voters who request absentee ballots on behalf of family members will have to provide their driver’s license number.

Click here to read Mower’s latest article at MyPalmBeachPost.com

Call for costly re-do of Palm Beach County state Senate race now before judge

Newly elected Sen. Bobby Powell, D-Riviera Beach, faces a legal challenge from a primary opponent.
Newly elected Sen. Bobby Powell, D-Riviera Beach, faces a legal challenge from a primary opponent.

Prospects for a costly and confusing election re-do in a Palm Beach County state Senate district now rest with a Leon County judge following a Tuesday hearing which coincided with the Legislature’s organization session.

Sen. Bobby Powell, D-Riviera Beach, was sworn-in as a new senator at 10:32 a.m. Just over a half-hour later across the street from the Capitol, lawyers for Powell and political opponents Ruben Anderson, a Democrat, and Ron Berman, a Republican, were battling over whether the primary and general election contests for Senate District 30 should be replayed.

Palm Beach County Elections Supervisor Susan Bucher, looking on in Leon County Circuit Judge Terry Lewis’s courtroom, said a do-over of the two recently completed elections would likely cost taxpayers more than $1 million.

Anderson was disqualified in July after his bank did not honor his campaign’s $1,781.82 check to cover the candidate qualifying fee.

 Florida law gives a candidate until the end of the qualifying period to correct such a situation. But Anderson had no remedy because his check was returned after qualifying closed.

Anderson, though, gained new legal life when the section of state law that thwarted him was declared unconstitutional in September by the Florida Supreme Court.

Write-in Pence? Vote won’t count, election officials say

Voters would be wasting ballot with write-in for Pence, officials say.
Voters would be wasting ballot with write-in for Pence, officials say.

Republican voters and elected officials saying they’ll write-in vice presidential nominee Mike Pence as a protest vote against Donald Trump might think again.

It won’t count.

“You have to be an eligible write-in candidate, and he’s not,” said Palm Beach County Elections Supervisor Susan Bucher.

There are a half-dozen people who qualified in Florida as write-in contenders for president. They are: Andrew Basiago, Richard Duncan, Cherunda Fox, Zoltan Istvan Gyurko, Laurence Kotlikoff and Anthony Joseph Valdivia.

Writing in any other name?

“You’re vote won’t be counted,” Bucher said.

In the wake of Trump’s vulgar comments about women, captured on 2011 video that swiftly went viral, a host of high-profile Republicans are fleeing the campaign.

Sen. Kelly Ayotte, a New Hampshire Republican, and Sen. Rob Portman, an Ohio Republican, were among those saying they’d write in Pence’s name.

 

Elections chief says prosecutors investigating suspicious absentee ballot requests

Palm Beach County Elections Supervisor Susan Bucher. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)
Palm Beach County Elections Supervisor Susan Bucher. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)

Palm Beach County Elections Supervisor Susan Bucher says State Attorney Dave Aronberg‘s office is investigating suspicious absentee ballot requests that were flagged by her office.

 

Bucher wouldn’t say how many of the ballot requests are in question or what raised her concerns about them. She said the questionable requests came from “a bunch of areas” and not one specific portion of the county.

 

“I can acknowledge that there’s an open investigation but I really can’t comment on it,” Bucher said today.

 

Aronberg spokesman Mike Edmondson was not immediately available for comment.

 

 

 

 

Palm Beach County elections office defies Rick Scott on judicial candidate

Gov. Rick Scott wants to appoint a judge to fill a Palm Beach County vacancy, while attorney Gregg Lerman (right) says he'll sue to force an election and county Elections Supervisor Susan Bucher is caught in the middle.
Gov. Rick Scott wants to appoint a judge to fill a Palm Beach County vacancy, while attorney Gregg Lerman (right) says he’ll sue to force an election and county Elections Supervisor Susan Bucher is caught in the middle.

Palm Beach County Elections Supervisor Susan Bucher today accepted candidate qualifying papers from attorney Gregg Lerman for a county court judgeship that Gov. Rick Scott‘s office says should be filled by a gubernatorial appointment rather than voters.

 

Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner, a Scott appointee, says the Group 11 judgeship that Judge Laura Johnson is leaving to run for Circuit Court is vacant and Scott should appoint a replacement to fill the final four years of Johnson’s term. Lerman argues that the timing of Johnson’s resignation necessitates an election to fill the seat.

 

Click here to read reporter Jane Musgrave’s article on the arguments from each side.