From the News Service of Florida:
UPDATE: The News Service of Florida corrected a mistake in the third paragraph of this report, clarifying that if 40 absentee ballots were thrown out in the case it potentially could put Rep. Mack Bernard over the top in the race. Initially, the report said that the action would put Bernard in the lead.
Democratic Senate candidate Mack Bernard's quest to overturn his 17-vote primary
loss in August met a trio of skeptical appellate judges on Thursday, as they
seemed unwilling to second-guess a lower court's decision rejecting the
A three judge panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal heard arguments in a case pitting Bernard against fellow Democrat Jeff Clemens to see who will represent the strongly Democratic Senate District 27 in Palm Beach County.
Though they didn't rule, the judges said they would be hard-pressed to overturn a decision last month by Leon County Circuit Judge Terry Lewis. The circuit judge let stand a Palm Beach County canvassing board decision to throw out nearly 40 absentee ballots that, if accepted, could potentially have put Bernard over the top in the tight race.
Citing a 2011 state election law, appeals-court Judge Nikki Clark seemed to echo the sentiments of her colleagues that Lewis appeared to fulfill a clearly defined obligation to compare the signatures on questionable ballots with those on voter registration records and determine if the canvassing board had abused its discretion by invalidating the votes.