Florida orders recount of votes in Senate, gubernatorial races

Three elections in Florida will officially be recounted after it was found that the margin of difference was too small: the U.S. Senate race between Bill Nelson (D) and Rick Scott (R), the gubernatorial race between Andrew Gillum (D), and Ron DeSantis (R), and the agriculture commissioner race.

Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner ordered machine recounts in the three races on Saturday. The second round of results for all three are due to the state by 3 p.m. Thursday, according to the Orlando Sentinel . Under Florida law, there are machine recounts when the margin of difference is less than .5 percent.

As the Miami Herald reported , that means the state will be reviewing 8.2 million ballots in just five days.

Once those results are finalized, a manual recount by hand will take place for races within a .25 percent difference. Those results would be due Sunday, November 18 at noon.

According to unofficial results, the current margin of difference in all three races is quite narrow:

  • U.S. Senate race
    Republican candidate and current Gov. Rick Scott leads incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson (D) by more than 12,500 votes, a .15 percent margin that would mandate a hand recount
  • Gubernatorial race
    Republican candidate and former Rep. Ron DeSantis leads Democratic candidate Andrew Gillum by more than 33,000 votes,  a .41 percent margin that for now mandates a machine recount
  • Agriculture commissioner
    Democrat Nikki Fried is leading Republican Matt Caldwell by just 5,326 votes , a 0.06 percent margin that would mandate a hand recount

A manual recount will be focused on overvotes and undervotes , or ballots in which voters chose two candidates in the same race or didn’t vote in a race.

The race in Florida has led to Republican lawmakers claiming that Democrats are trying to steal the election , including Donald Trump .

Much of the focus in Florida has been on Broward and Palm Beach counties, which also had vote-counting problems during the 2000 presidential election.

On Thursday, Scott held a news conference and claimed without evidence that there was rampant fraud in both counties and blamed Democrats specifically. Scott’s campaign and the National Republican Senatorial Committee filed two lawsuits that day against the supervisor of elections in Broward County and Palm Beach County.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement spokesman Jeremy Burns said Friday that Detzner told them there are “no indications of fraud” and so they won’t be investigating. Election monitors in Broward County also have seen no evidence of criminal activity , a Florida Department of Election spokesperson told the Miami Herald.

If elected, Gillum would be Florida’s first Black governor.


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