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Pam Bondi scolds state police for not pursuing investigation into election fraud claims

Attorney General Bondi says FDLE has a duty to investigate even though state officials say they have found no evidence of fraud.
Credit: Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Concordia Summit
Hon. Pam Bondi, Attorney General, State of Florida, speaks at The 2017 Concordia Annual Summit at Grand Hyatt New York on September 19, 2017 in New York City.

In a letter sent Sunday to Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Rick Swearingen, Republican Attorney General Pam Bondi blasted the state law enforcement agency for not pursing an investigation into alleged voter fraud.

Both FDLE and the state elections division, which Gov. Rick Scott runs, have said they have found no evidence of criminal activity in Broward and Palm Beach counties despite Scott's claims.

READ: AG Pam Bondi's full letter to FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen

“I am deeply troubled by your announcement that you will not pursue any investigation or inquiry into clearly documented irregularities of election officials in Broward and Palm Beach counties,” Bondi wrote in the letter.

“I fail to see how the Florida Department of Law Enforcement can legitimately refuse to investigate where there is reasonable suspicion that may lead to the discovery of criminal actions in the conduct of the 2018 election — actions that gravely damage Floridians’ confidence in our electoral process and democracy."

MORE: Problems delay recount in Broward County

On Thursday, Scott, who remains locked in a tight race for U.S. Senate against Sen. Bill Nelson, ordered FDLE to investigate "rampant fraud" in Broward and Palm Beach counties, but provided no evidence.

FDLE officials have said that no written complaints with credible evidence have been received.

An FDLE spokesperson did not immediately respond to an email Sunday from 10News seeking comment.

Bondi also sent a letter on Sunday to Secretary of State Ken Detzner, demanding his office report any and all election irregularities in Broward and Palm Beach counties to Florida’s Office of Statewide Prosecution.

READ: AG Pam Bondi's full letter to Secretary of State Ken Detzner

Unofficial results in the U.S. Senate race show that Republican Gov. Rick Scott’s lead over Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson is 0.14 percentage points.

State law requires a machine recount in races where the margin is less than 0.5 percentage points. Once completed, if the differences in any of the races are 0.25 percentage points or below, a hand recount will be ordered.

Statewide machine recounts began this weekend, which Florida counties have until Thursday to complete.

RELATED: Protesters question accuracy of South Florida vote totals as elections head to recount

However, lawsuits filed by both the Scott and Nelson campaigns could complicate things.

Scott is filing three lawsuits against county election officials. In an emergency motion filed Sunday evening, the Scott campaign requested the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the sheriff's offices in Broward and Palm Beach counties to impound and secure all machines, devices, and ballots when not in use until the recount is completed.

Scott also requested that votes counted after the noon Saturday deadline should not count.

Nelson's campaign fired back, saying in a statement that if Scott "wanted to make sure every legal ballot is counted, he would not be suing to try and stop voters from having their legal ballot counted as intended."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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