The second-place candidate in the CD 20 primary elections files a complaint against the results
The runner-up in the Congressional District 20 Democratic special primary filed a lawsuit challenging the results, alleging the winner misled voters with pledges of money.
Dale holness, who resigned from the Broward County Commission to run for the vacant seat when Alcee Hastings died in office, contests his loss to Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick. Holness lost by just five votes to Cherfilus-McCormick.
In addition to suing Cherfilus-McCormick, Holness is suing Broward’s election supervisor Joe scott, the Broward County Solicitation Council and the Election Solicitation Commission, which is responsible for soliciting the results of all congressional elections.
The complaint was filed in 17th Circuit Court on Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving.
The 21-page trial raises many issues. The main allegation, however, is that Cherfilus-McCormick falsely promised voters in the black-majority district that a ballot cast for her would put money in their pocket. This is in violation of Florida laws that prohibit offering money to get votes, according to the lawsuit.
Part of his campaign included his “People’s Property Plan” which asked adults earning less than $ 75,000 a year to receive a monthly check for $ 1,000. Campaign material with the plan is included in the suit.
“At all relevant times for this action, (Cherfilus-McCormick) knew that this promise was a gimmick designed only to motivate people to vote for it,” the lawsuit said. Cherfilus-McCormick “misled voters to the extent that several voters thought they were going to collect a check for $ 1,000 on polling day… In fact, immediately after the vote, several voters presented to the staff from the election supervisor and to campaign agents how they were going to receive their payment of $ 1,000 to vote.
The lawsuit also alleges:
- Cherfilus-McCormick did not complete the appropriate personal financial disclosure form required when a candidate raises more than $ 5,000 for a campaign. This makes her ineligible for the office, the costume says. His campaign was largely self-funded with the campaign funding forms showing that she loaned $ 3.7 million to her campaign.
- Twelve active-duty military ballots and the six military dependents’ ballots should have been counted and were rejected, according to the prosecution. These ballots arrived within 10 days of the election and were rejected at a Nov. 12 meeting of the Broward County Canvassing Board. The board determined that there was no evidence that these ballots came from overseas. The evidence was needed for them to be counted 10 days after the election, according to the major. It was a mistake, says the prosecution.
Cherfilus-McCormick, could not be reached for comment, but Larry davis, his lawyer, said to the Sentinel of the Sun that Holness’s complaint was “without merit” and would be dismissed quickly.
Scott, Broward County Election Supervisor, told the newspaper he had not commented on the pending litigation.
Cherfilus still faces a special election on January 11 in which she will face the winner of the special Republican primary Jason mariner. The district, which straddles Palm Beach and Broward counties, is strongly Democrat and Cherfilus-McCormick is widely regarded as the de facto winner of the seat of Congress.
The November 2 special Democratic primary elections drew 11 candidates in the race to succeed Hastings. The results were so close that a recount was carried out at polling stations in both counties.
This is the first election Cherfilus-McCormick, a healthcare executive, has ever won. If all goes according to plan, she will be the first Haitian American elected to sit as a Democrat in Congress.