The Florida Governor & Senate Races Are Getting A Recount

Photo: Wilfredo Lee/AP Photo.
Florida strikes again. The state that brought the 2000 presidential election to a grounding halt, and gave us Bush V. Gore is headed toward a massive, legally mandated recount following the midterm elections Tuesday.
The state is set to kick off a recount as the counties reported close enough official tallies, which were due on Saturday, according to the Washington Post.
A machine recount and a possible hand recount will be required for both the governor’s race between Republican Ron DeSantis and Democrat Andrew Gillum as well as Senate race between Democratic Bill Nelson and Republican Rick Scott. The Senate race was within 0.15 percentage points, with Scott leading Nelson by just over 12,000 votes out of almost 8.2 million cast. DeSantis is ahead of Gillum by 33,684 votes, according to the Post. Gillum withdrew his concession after the recount was ordered, the Associated Press reported.
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A 0.5 percentage point margin triggers a machine recount, while a margin of less than 0.25 causes a hand recount, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
All 67 counties have completed counting Election Day precinct votes, according to the Division of Elections website. (None of the counties in the state have finished counting overseas ballots, but those results aren't due until next week.) Broward County, which many will remember was the site of the 2000 showdown as well, remains the only county yet to finish counting its vote-by-mail ballots, early voting ballots, and provisional ballots. Palm Beach County also has not completed its vote-by-mail and provisional ballots.
Another 13 of Florida's counties were still counting provisional ballots. These ballots take the longest to count because they are cast only when a voter doesn't have proper ID or ends up at the wrong polling place. In order to count them, county canvassing boards compare signatures on the ballot to signatures in the voter registration records to make sure they match.
Though Gillum conceded to DeSantis late Tuesday night after early returns made it seem likely DeSantis would win, DeSantis’ lead has continued to narrow. On Thursday, Gillum tweeted, “I’m looking forward to seeing every vote counted," sparking hopes for many of his supporters that maybe — just maybe — it's not over yet. DeSantis, for his part, doesn't appear to be worried. He told a group of reporters he was "looking forward to serving" in office, despite the potential recount, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
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Meanwhile, Rick Scott announced in a press conference on Thursday night that he is suing the election supervisors in two south Florida counties, Broward and Palm Beach, for their delay in counting votes and what he deemed a lack of transparency. Nelson's camp has also filed a lawsuit against the Florida secretary of state, demanding that all provisional and mail-in ballots thrown-out for "signature mismatch" be counted , according to the Tampa Bay Times.
The suit represents a challenge to a Florida law mandating that county election officials must match signatures on provisional and mail-in ballots to a state database, and reject ballots with a signature mismatch. Nelson's lawsuit argues that county election workers are unqualified to make such a call and often throw out legitimate ballots.
The Scott campaign countered that they would fight the suit, terming Nelson's suit an attempt "to ask the federal courts to allow voter fraud."
This story was originally published on November 9, 2018, additional reporting was added.
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