Progressive Tim Canova is still fuming about his 13-percentage point loss in a Democratic primary in 2016 to U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and — more so — that the Broward County Supervisor of Elections office destroyed paper ballots from the contest.
Now, Canova is launching a new bid against Wasserman Schultz, this time without a party affiliation. The move allows the Bernie Sanders ally to take on the former Democratic National Committee chairwoman in November when all voters, not just party faithful, will decide.
Canova is also preparing to challenge the results. At least, if he doesn’t win.
“We are prepared to bring a lawsuit even if we lose the race by one vote or by 10,000,” Canova said Friday while in Tallahassee after qualifying to run for the office.
Canova, a Nova Southeastern University law professor, contends his field numbers in 2016 showed “a very good result for us,” but because of the margin of the results he didn’t file a challenge within a 10-day post-election window.
Since then, he’s read about foreign interference in the U.S. voting process and that electronic voting machines may not be as secure as officials claim. Then came an order last September by Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes to destroy boxes of vote-by-mail certificates and early-voting ballots — after scanning and storing electronic copies of the ballots — as Canova sued for access to paper ballots from the primary.
“We’ve lost confidence in the integrity of the election system in the Broward County in light of the ballot destruction,” Canova said. “I’ve got folks saying, you should challenge even if you win — I don’t think we’ll challenge if we win. But considering what happened in the last race, I think we’d be foolish not to be prepared to challenge an election result that goes against us.”