Rubio Sounds the Alarm: Palm Beach Elections Supervisor Bans Media Cameras From Public Ballot Counting – THREATENS THEM WITH ARRESTS
Palm Beach elections supervisor Susan Bucher, screen image via WPBF
Republican Florida Senator Marco Rubio sounded the alarm Friday night after Palm Beach elections supervisor Susan Bucher banned cameras from public ballot counting and threatened them with arrests.
The Palm Beach Post reported:
RIVIERA BEACH — Breaking from normal practice, the Palm Beach County elections supervisor banned media from filming and photographing the high-profile midterm election ballot review process amid allegations of “incompetence” by Gov. Rick Scott.
Tensions flared Friday morning when Bucher threatened to have camera operators and newspaper reporters arrested for filming ballot tabulation as Palm Beach County. The meeting at least half a dozen television cameras and even more reporters as Palm Beach County is one of the last in Florida to report unofficial results in an election with three tight statewide races. Bucher accused several reporters of illegally taking pictures and videos of signatures on the envelopes of mail ballots.
Reporters repeatedly assured Bucher that they were filming the board members from a safe distance as they examined ballots and decided whether to toss or count them. Signatures were not visible in any Palm Beach Post photos.
Still, Bucher insisted that she’d bring officers to forcibly remove any member of the media who filmed the process.
Despite objections from reporters, the canvassing board insisted that the meeting not be filmed or photographed.
“There is no way the canvassing board can determine or ascertain what those cameras, those recording devices are recording,” said Judge August Bonavita, chair of the canvassing board. “We have to focus exclusively on what’s in front of us. We can’t pay attention to your cameras.”
Five Palm Beach County Sheriff’s deputies watched the meeting both from inside the room and behind the glass windows lead inside. Under threat of arrest and removal from the meeting, reporters shut down their cameras.
According to the Palm Beach Post, an NBC attorney objected to Susan Bucher’s camera ban, calling it “illegal.”
Senator Rubio once again sounded the alarm Friday night after cameras were banned from public ballot counting.
RUBIO: #PalmBeachCounty elections supervisor bans media cameras from public ballot counting & threatens them with arrest.
How much more will it take to convince skeptics that what is happening in Palm Beach & #BrowardCounty is not a normal elections process?
#PalmBeachCounty elections supervisor bans media cameras from public ballot counting & threatens them with arrest.
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) November 10, 2018
Also, according to WPBF reporter, Terri Parker, Palm Beach County Elections Supervisor Susan Bucher says it will be impossible to meet court ordered deadline to turn over ballots that her staff made decisions on – asking for emergency reconsideration hearing.
EXCLUSIVE – Palm Beach County Elections Supervisor Susan Bucher says it will be impossible to meet court ordered deadline to turn over ballots that her staff made decisions on – asking for emergency reconsideration hearing. @WPBF25News pic.twitter.com/MX3P9Gp16I
— Terri Parker (@wpbf_terri) November 9, 2018