Scott's campaign announced Friday that the National Republican Senatorial Committee has retained the Gibson Dunn law firm on behalf of the campaign.
A spokeswoman says state law enforcement officials in Florida have not launched any elections-fraud allegations. Scott also sued election officials in Palm Beach, another Democratic-leaning county in South Florida.
What originally started as a trio of protesters quickly grew into a group of about 200 people, voicing their outrage in the midst of three potential recounts in the Senate, Governor and State Agricultural Commission races. During a press conference Thursday night, Scott said, "The people of Florida deserve fairness and transparency, and the supervisors are failing to give it to us".
President Donald Trump weighed in late Thursday with a tweet, alleging "another big corruption scandal" involving election fraud in Broward County. Scott's lead over Sen. If the margin between the two candidates is 0.5 percentage points or less, there will be a statewide recount.
The likely recount is reminiscent of the dramatic recounts that occurred in parts of Florida after the 2000 election.
The AP has not called a victor in the Senate race.
Meanwhile, Nelson's reelection campaign has filed a lawsuit against Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner over vote-by-mail ballots. They also asked for the Saturday deadline to be extended.
"This is a feature, not a flaw", Elias said of the ongoing counting of provisional and absentee ballots.
Following emergency court hearings Friday, district judges ordered the Democratic supervisors of elections - Susan Bucher in Palm Beach; Brenda Spikes in Broward - to open up their process, which had unfolded for days in relative secrecy. He said officials performing the count do not have the necessary training to match signatures, and that similar laws in other states have been thrown out.
"Now they "found" many votes and he is only up 15,000 votes. Florida voted for Rick Scott!".
Earlier in the day, Nelson's recount lawyer predicted that the Democratic incumbent would emerge the victor over Scott as ballots continued to be examined, particularly in Palm Beach and Broward counties. He's asked the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate. He reiterated that sentiment on a second call Friday with reporters, while also hitting back at Scott.
Elias is an attorney for the campaign of Democratic U.S. Sen. The machine recount could begin that same day, with the results due by November 15.
Nelson said Scott was abusing his office by trying to stop a complete and accurate counting of all the votes.
Florida counties have until noon Saturday to submit unofficial election results to the Department of State.
- Razor-thin margins in Florida's bitter races for the U.S. Senate and governor are raising the specter of possible recounts, potentially prolonging two of the most closely watched contests of the nation's midterm elections.
In a call with reporters Thursday, Nelson's lawyer, Marc Elias, said that the race now stands as a "jump ball" as counties around the state canvass their votes, but he believes Nelson will prevail in the end.
"On Tuesday night, the Gillum for Governor campaign operated with the best information available about the number of outstanding ballots left to count". On Friday, he led by 0.21 percentage point, low enough to require a recount. Nelson began Thursday trailing Scott by less than 22,000 votes out of more than 8 million votes cast, a difference of 0.26 percent.
Florida is the definitive swing state in US politics, and it's not uncommon for major statewide races to be decided by the narrowest of margins.