Watching vote count battles from afar on Capitol Hill, Senate Democrats stepped up their attacks on Republicans in both Florida and Georgia on Wednesday, broadly accusing GOP officials of standing in the way of a fair vote count in undecided races in those two states.
“President Trump and Governor Scott have just lied,” Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer told reporters just off the Senate floor, accusing Republicans of inventing election fraud charges to undercut calls by Democrats for a full vote count.
“They’ve said there is fraud when their own Republican officials in Florida have said there’s no fraud,” Schumer added, again arguing that if all legitimate votes are counted, that Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) would win.
Nelson trails Scott by 13,500 votes, as a recount is underway in all of Florida’s 67 counties.
While Schumer’s words were more cutting about Florida, one Democrat took it a step further over the ongoing vote battle in Georgia, where former Secretary of State Brian Kemp holds a narrow lead over Democrat Stacey Abrams, still just above the numbers needed to avoid a runoff.
“If Stacey Abrams doesn’t win in Georgia, they stole it,” Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) said at a civil rights forum on Capitol Hill. “It’s clear. It’s clear,” as Brown complained about efforts to close voting precincts in a more rural African-American area of the state.
“They can’t win elections fairly; they win elections by redistricting and reapportionment, and voter suppression,” Brown added to applause.
Soon after, Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) told the same group there had been “massive voter suppression” in the state of Georgia, as Democrats vowed again to focus on the need for action on voting rights, especially in southern states.
But other than venting their frustration over Republican vote advantages in Florida and Georgia, there was little that Democrats could do from Washington – other than wait to see what would happen in Tallahassee and Atlanta.
“Every vote should be counted,” Sen. Schumer said, as it seemed possible that legal battles would stretch for days in the two states.
Those legal battles had already left a sour taste in the mouth of Republicans as well.
“That isn’t a strategy to win an election, that is a strategy to steal an election,” said Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL).