FLORIDA RECOUNT, IT’S HAPPENING!
The counting is over. Now, the recounting begins.
More than three days after the polls closed in Florida, the secretary of state announced on Saturday afternoon that the razor-thin races for governor, senator and agriculture commissioner will be reviewed in a series of recounts.
According to unofficial results filed by the counties, Republican Gov. Rick Scott leads incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson by more than 12,500 votes, or about .15%. The spread in the governor’s race is larger, with Republican former Rep. Ron DeSantis ahead of Democratic Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum by nearly 34,000 votes, for a lead of .41%. In the narrowest contest, Democratic agriculture commissioner Nikki Fried’s advantage stands at 5,326 votes — just .06% — over Republican Matt Caldwell.
With the margins in all three contests at under .5%, the votes will now be recounted by machine. That process must be finished by 3 p.m. on Thursday. Races within .25% will then go to a hand recount of overvotes and undervotes. An overvote means a voter selected more than the allotted options on the ballot; an undervote means a vote selected fewer than the available choices or, in these races, none. The Senate race and the contest for agriculture commissioner both currently both fall within .25%.
The recounts reflect a deeply divided electorate in a state that will play a critical role in the 2020 election and will determine whether Nelson will return to Washington for a fourth term or the Republicans will pad their majority in the Senate.
Gillum conceded to DeSantis on Tuesday night, but when the results began to narrow, he said every vote should count. DeSantis has said little about the recount and is instead proceeding as if he won the election, appointing a transition team and preparing to take office in January.
The battle for Nelson’s Senate seat has been much more heated, with both sides filing lawsuits and trading verbal jabs. Scott has said Nelson is trying to steal the election, while Nelson is accusing Scott of trying to stop elections officials from counting every ballot. President Donald Trump has weighed in on behalf of Scott, calling the situation “a disgrace.”
During a conference call Saturday on behalf of Scott, U.S. Sen Lindsay Graham said the voting problems in Florida “undercuts confidence in the electoral process.”
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