Florida braces for recounts in governor, Senate races

Republicans Score Major Upsets in Florida

Florida Senate recount looming, despite Scott’s claim of victory

A recount is mandatory if the winning candidate's margin is less than 0.5 percentage points when the first unofficial count is verified Saturday by Florida's secretary of state.

The race for Florida agricultural commissioner was already a tight one on election night, but with new ballot returns, the Democratic candidate has now taken the lead. 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.

The statement provided no information on the size or location of these "uncounted ballots", but they echoed claims made Thursday morning in a conference call the Nelson campaign arranged with Marc Elias, an election lawyer with the powerhouse Democratic firm of Perkins Coie.

In a statement Thursday, Gillum's campaign says it underestimated the ballots that still needed to be counted when he conceded.

And the recounts now have echoes of 2000: Gillum's campaign has hired Barry Richard to represent them during the recount.

No state can deliver post-election day drama quite like Florida as both the statewide Senate and gubernatorial Democratic candidates push for a recount decision as early as Saturday.

"The recounts will be nationally watched ..."

The Republican Party had no immediate response to the developments, but Mr. Scott's campaign said bluntly that Mr. Elias was launching an effort to steal the election.

Gov. Scott is suing Florida's Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes for allowing the counting of the mysterious discovery of thousands of new votes.

It's unknown how many provisional ballots have been cast statewide in Florida this year.

FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen was personally chosen by Scott in 2015, even though the appointment is subject to approval by the three elected Cabinet members. That margin, if it holds, would require a recount, but DeSantis has mostly stayed out of the fray, saying he was working on plans for taking office in January. Governing is about getting things done on behalf of the people of Florida, keeping our economy going, improving our water quality and environment, promoting public safety and expanding educational opportunities.

Amid mounting concern over Kemp's oversight role in elections, Kemp resigned Thursday as secretary of state, but repeated his assertion that he defeated Abrams. "Well, here we go again", Scott said outside the front door of the governor's mansion in Tallahassee.

In the meantime, Democratic Agricultural Commissioner candidate Nikki Fried has pulled ahead of seeming victor Matt Caldwell by just 582 votes.

Unusual voting discrepancies were also being reported in Broward County. "Nowhere. And how is it when Democrats are behind, they always manage to pick up votes after the fact?"

"I sincerely regret that I couldn't bring it home for you, but I can guarantee you this: I'm not going anywhere", he said during a tearful, 10 minute speech.

"We will count as many as we can", said Sarasota County Elections Supervisor Ron Turner, who serves on the board with Sarasota County Commission Chair Nancy Detert and Sarasota County Judge Phyllis Galen. We'll let the lawyers do what they got to do.

Scott, who once enjoyed a healthy lead, is now only about 15,000 votes ahead of Nelson, a number that if it holds would mandate a recount.

Florida was mocked for its handling of the infamous 2000 recount. "Nelson will be declared the victor and will be returned to the Senate", Mr. Elias said.

Those recounts were halted by the US Supreme Court, and George W. Bush defeated Al Gore by 537 votes in Florida to win the presidency.

In the Senate contest, Scott's margin fell to 0.26 percent.

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