Florida governor's race faces recount as Senate race gets even tighter

09 November, 2018, 02:38 | Author: Lucy Floyd
  • All Eyes on Florida's Gubernatorial Race: Will Florida Go Blue?

"Latest ballots dumped by #Broward &/or #PalmBeach...shaved another 4k+ from Scott's lead in Senate race", Mr. Rubio tweeted Thursday. Bill Nelson in that Senate contest.

NBC News has called DeSantis the "apparent" victor in the governor race, while votes are still being counted in places like Broward County and margins appear to be tightening slightly.

The Florida Division of Elections shows Ron DeSantis now leading Andrew Gillum, 49.62 percent to 49.15 percent. Scott declared victory Tuesday night, but NBC News has not yet called the race.

Republican former Rep. Ron DeSantis, a strong ally of President Trump, beat Mr. Gillum, the left-wing mayor of Tallahassee, in the unofficial results and Mr. Gillum conceded shortly before midnight last Tuesday. If the margins remain under the 0.5 percent threshold, recounts must be ordered under state law.

Recounts are the talk of Florida politics today, with the races for U.S. Senate and Florida Agriculture Commissioner - as well as a smattering of smaller races - all within a razor-thin margin.

Elias said he's concerned that a third of the votes in the Florida Senate race are still unknown.

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As of Wednesday morning, DeSantis led Gillum by 43,039 votes out of almost 8.2 million cast, or a difference of 0.526 of a percentage point.

As of 2 p.m. Thursday, DeSantis led Gillum by 38,515 votes out of almost 8.2 million cast, or a difference of 0.47 of a percentage point. When those machine recounts indicate the margin is less than a quarter of 1 percent, it automatically triggers a manual recount.

Florida's chief legal officer, Secretary of State Ken Detzner, told county election supervisors Thursday to plan for as many as three statewide recounts and for extraordinary public and media scrutiny in the state with the singular status of unusually close elections. "Nelson will be declared the victor and will be returned to the Senate", Mr. Elias said.

Marc Elias, a Washington lawyer on Nelson's team, said the candidate was demanding a recount. "Maybe next, he'll start ranting that Russians stole the election from him".

But Scott campaign spokesman Chris Hartline called Elias a "hired gun" and added, "for Bill Nelson, the task is getting the "win" ...no matter what".

"It is sad and embarrassing that Bill Nelson would resort to these low tactics after the voters have clearly spoken", said a statement from the Scott campaign Wednesday.

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Detzner told county election officials on November 8 to prepare for statewide recounts, according to The Tampa Bay Times.

"It's important every voter who cast a ballot has it counted and counted accurately", Elias said.

If the recounted returns show the race to be outside of a 0.25 percent margin, the Secretary of State will likely certify the results as official. They had counted more than 695,700 ballots counted by early Thursday morning. Over votes are ballots in which scanners detected that voters marked more than one choice for Senate. Most famously, the state was the epicenter of the George W. Bush versus Al Gore "hanging chad" debacle in 2000.

Candidates cannot request recounts, although those with fewer votes can refuse them.

"On Tuesday night, the Gillum for Governor campaign operated with the best information available about the number of outstanding ballots left to count", Johanna Cervone, communications director for Gillum's campaign, said in a statement on Thursday before the automatic recount was triggered.

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