An employee of the Brevard County Clerk of Courts office wants to examine ballots from the Aug. 14 Republican primary, as he continues to express concerns about the results of the election, in which his boss was defeated. Sean Campbell, the chief deputy to Clerk of Courts Mitch Needelman, has been trading emails with Brevard County Supervisor of Elections Lori Scott, seeking to examine ballots from three election precincts. Campbell has suspicions about the accuracy of the reported vote counts, and wants to compare the paper ballots with reported totals. In the Republican primary, former Clerk of Courts Scott Ellis received 61 percent of the vote, to defeat Needelman, who got 39 percent.
Campbell — who said he is raising the concerns as a private citizen and not on behalf of Needelman — said he is suspicious because pre-election polling by Needelman’s campaign indicated that the results would be close. He also is suspicious that the total number of people casting ballots in the Needelman-Ellis race was smaller than in other countywide Republican primaries on the ballot, including sheriff and property appraiser. But Scott said those suspicions don’t prove anything was wrong with the announced vote count.
“We don’t verify the results of an election by a candidate’s polling,” Scott said. She also said voters often skip one or more races. “I don’t presume to second-guess the intent of my voters,” Scott said. Scott said the questions Campbell is raising about the accuracy of the reported primary results are “a very serious thing,” and bring into question all the primary results.