Florida Republicans are calling for an audit of the 2020 election results despite Donald Trump winning the state over Joe Biden.
The one-term president defeated his successor by more than 371,000 votes in securing the state’s electoral votes last November.
Governor Ron DeSantis, a potential rival GOP presidential candidate to Mr Trump in 2024, says that Florida “did it right” in the 2020 election. But now he and other conservative lawmakers are being pushed by party members to carry an audit of the election.
Last month, the Lake County Republican Party approved five resolutions to send to every Florida state lawmaker backing the full audit.
Observers say that the bill, which calls for audits in counties with populations of more than 250,000, would target Democratic areas such as Orange, Broward, Palm Beach, and Hillsborough counties, as well as come Republican counties such as Lake, Brevard, Lee, and Polk.
“It’s not about margin of victory,” Mr Sabatini told Politico.
“The fact is that people want total verification of the election results. They want an independent review of the votes.”
Republicans have followed Mr Trump’s lead by declaring elections “rigged” and rife with voter fraud, despite all evidence to the contrary. Flat-out rejection of an electoral loss is becoming a defining characteristic of the MAGA crowd led by Mr Trump, who maintains a stranglehold over the Republican Party.
Florida’s Republican Secretary of State Laurel Lee says that a “forensic audit” is not necessary as election officials tested voting machines before and after the election.
“Florida’s election in 2020 was accurate, transparent, and conducted in compliance with Florida law,” she said.
“Florida has already conducted both pre- and post-elections audits, and we are confident in the security and integrity of our 2020 election results.”
Mr Trump, who moved to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida when he left the White House in January, has made false and widely debunked claims of electoral fraud before and after his defeat to Mr Biden.
Thousands of his supporters launched a violent insurrection at the US Capitol on 6 January following his rally in Washington DC, to try and prevent the certification of Mr Biden’s victory.
A Republican-pushed Cyber Ninja audit of the election results in Maricopa County, Arizona, found around 350 more votes for Mr Biden instead of any fraud.