MSNBC’s Ari Melber dropped a fact check on a GOP official in Florida on Monday, telling him there is no evidence that voter fraud is being committed by Democrats in the state. Any claim otherwise is “irresponsible,” the MSNBC host said.
When asked by Melber whether he thinks all the votes should be counted, Richard Denapoli, state committeeman for the Republican Party of Broward County, took a page out of the Donald Trump-Rick Scott playbook and cried fraud.
“There are votes possibly being put in illegally,” Denapoli said, without evidence (because there is none). “Whether there is actual fraud, there’s the appearance of fraud.”
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) November 13, 2018
DENAPOLI: I believe in counting every legal vote. And that’s the problem here is that there are votes possibly being put in illegally. Whether there is actual fraud, there’s the appearance of fraud. I myself was present just last night at some ballot boxes that were found in a rental car at the airport. I can share the video with you. There were unmarked ballots in that box. So if there are unmarked ballots floating around in rental cars, that lends the appearance that something is wrong here. Somebody could mark those ballots. Somebody could get them in here.
MITCHELL BERGER (FLORIDA DEMOCRATIC PARTY SPECIAL COUNSEL): I didn’t eat any chads in 2000. And there are no illegal votes now, okay, and the judge found that today.
MELBER: Right. And that’s an important point on the facts, which is there have not been findings by the independent arbiters, by the judges or the state authorities of that voter fraud, which is what makes at least President Trump’s comments about this so irresponsible and fact-free.
Republicans only want their supporters’ votes to count
For years, Republicans have been championing voter suppression measures all across the country as a way to combat an increasingly diverse American population. We saw this play out all across the country this year.
If you’re young or African American in particular, the GOP has worked tirelessly to make it harder for you to vote.
In Florida, though, they have taken this effort to another level. Not only do they want Democratic-leaning voters kept away from the polls, but they don’t even believe their votes should count.
Their outrageous claims that counting votes amounts to fraud aren’t just irresponsible and fact-free, as Ari Melber pointed out on Monday. They are also dangerous for our democracy.
If Donald Trump loses in 2020, look for him to adopt this dangerous strategy on a national scale.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.