Published: Sat, November 10, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Governor's race in machine recount; Senate's, Ag Commissioner's in hand recount

Governor's race in machine recount; Senate's, Ag Commissioner's in hand recount

Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson has pushed for a recount given that he trails Scott by such a slim margin. On Tuesday night, Gillum had offered a gracious concession to Ron DeSantis, who held the office for the GOP in Florida despite Democratic expectations of victory in a blue wave that never materialized.

Florida requires an automatic machine recount if the candidates are within half a point of each other - and a hand recount if the diffence between the candidates is less than 0.25 percent.

Gillum's campaign team has hired attorney Barry Richard, who famously represented George W. Bush during the 2000 presidential race hanging chads legal drama in which Bush was eventually declared the victor in Florida by a close margin over Al Gore.

Florida's secretary of state, Ken Detzner, told county election supervisors Thursday to plan for as many as three statewide recounts, the Miami Herald reported. If that process shows a margin of less than 0.25 percentage points in any federal or state races, then Detzner would order a manual recount of what are known as under votes and over votes that would have to be completed by November 18.

Early voting and vote-by-mail ballots are still being counted in Broward County, while vote-by-mail ballots are still being counted in Palm Beach County. Both are heavily Democratic.

The Florida Secretary of State is telling election officials to prepare for a statewide recount. Elias said it was odd that the undervoting was happening at the top of the ticket, rather than downballot. After its 2000 debacle, the state shifted to electronic voting machines, but later changed again to optical-scan paper ballots, the most reliable technology. By Thursday evening, that number jumped to 712,840. But so far, they have only tabulated 665,688 ballots in the Senate race.

The county is making some progress.

"We can only count what was cast", Quesenbery said.

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Scott's campaign has said Nelson should concede the race rather than push for a recount. In the Senate race, Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican, is ahead of incumbent Sen.

Nelson has not conceded.

"On Tuesday night, the Gillum for Governor campaign operated with the best information available about the number of outstanding ballots left to count", Gillum's spokeswoman Johanna Cervone said in a statement.

The Nelson camp's statement said Scott had "prematurely" claimed victory on Tuesday, and cited media reports of balloting problems and other polling irregularities.

In a tweet sent late Thursday, Gillum argued that there are no partisan motives in recounting votes following the midterm elections, as the state moves toward a recount in the gubernatorial, Senate and agriculture commissioner races.

Kuehne was in Broward for Democrat Nikki Fried. As of this writing, the discrepancy sits at just over 38,000 votes out of 8.2 million cast, giving Gillum 49.15 percent of the vote to DeSantis' 49.62 percent, according the state's elections division. Her department's website said ballots cast on Election Day have been counted.

The Sarasota County Canvassing Board began met Thursday at 5 p.m.to go over 432 provisional ballots that were flagged for some reason, such as a signature mismatch or the voter not having proper identification.

Elias added that vote-by-mail ballots and provisional ballots initially rejected because the signatures didn't match historically tend to break for Democrats. In Broward, more than 24,000 people voted for governor than in the Senate race. Democrats believe Nelson's margin could shrink even more once ballots from the county - along with nearby Palm Beach County - are counted.

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