Tags: florida | senate race | gubernatorial race | desantis | gillum

Recount Likely in Fla. Gov, Senate Races

rep. ron desantis, r-rla., and rallahassee mayor andrew Gillum
Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., and Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum (AP)

 

By    |   Thursday, 08 November 2018 04:16 PM

It's likely the Senate and gubernatorial races in Florida are heading for a recount as officials in the Sunshine State deal with razor-thin vote differences between the candidates.

Republican Ron DeSantis, a former congressman, and Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum are separated by less than 40,000 votes in the race for governor. DeSantis has already been declared the winner, but his margin of victory — which is hovering around the half percent mark, according to Florida Election Watch — will likely trigger a state-mandated recount.

In the Florida Senate race, former Gov. Rick Scott leads incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson by less than 20,000 votes, a little more than .02 percent.

Election margins below a half percent trigger machine recounts in Florida. When those machine recounts indicate the margin is less than a quarter of a percent, it automatically triggers a manual recount. Nelson's attorneys have predicted the recount will result in Nelson returning to the Senate.

Gillum conceded to DeSantis Tuesday night after the latter was declared the winner, but his campaign is now treading cautiously.

"It has become clear there are many more uncounted ballots than was originally reported," Gillum's campaign said in a statement. "Our campaign, along with our attorney, Barry Richard, is monitoring the situation closely and is ready for any outcome, including a state-mandated recount. We are committed to ensuring every single vote in Florida is counted."

More than 8.2 million ballots were cast in Florida's election, according to the state Division of Elections web site.

The recount decision would come this weekend after canvassing boards in Florida's 67 counties certify returns. Any recount would probably begin Monday.

Nelson pointed to an analysis in The New York Times which claims an estimated 113,000 ballots in Florida remain uncounted, mostly in Democratic strongholds of Broward and Miami-Dade counties in South Florida.

But that analysis relied on models that estimated voter turnout, and not on outstanding ballot data from local county election offices, the Miami Herald reports.

Blaise Ingoglia, chairman of the Florida Republican Party, slammed Nelson's assertions Thursday.

"What Bill Nelson is saying is just a desperate attempt by a career politician trying to hold on to power," Ingoglia, a member of the Florida House of Representatives, told Kate Bouldan on CNN.

Officials in Broward and Palm Beach counties still were counting ballots Thursday morning, The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports.

According to the Sun-Sentinel, the Broward elections office counted 22,000 ballots on Wednesday. They had counted more than 695,700 ballots counted by early Thursday morning.

Palm Beach County officials, however, had yet to counted mail-in or provisional ballots, according to the Florida Division of Elections website.

Overseas ballots must be received by Nov. 16 and have an Election Day postmark, based on Florida election rules.

Voters who cast provisional ballots have until Thursday at 5 p.m. to verify their ID or provide other data to county officials to make their ballots count.

In Miami-Dade, only provisional and overseas ballots remained uncounted.

Broward officials, however, had not counted mail-ins, early-voting ballots, provisionals nor overseas ballots, according to the state elections site.

Ingoglia was particularly harsh about the lack of information coming from Broward and Palm Beach counties.

"We have no idea right now how many votes still have to be counted," he told CNN. "We know it's not many.

"The supervisor of elections always seem to be the two that we have problems with. They have to be transparent and tell us what they are counting and how many they are counting," he said. "Right now, nobody knows."

Scott and Nelson, meanwhile, have hired lawyers and have demanded information on those who cast provisional ballots on Tuesday.

"We are requesting the total number of provisional ballots in Pasco County, and the voter information for these ballots," Grace Albergo, regional political director for Scott's campaign, wrote in an email published by The Tampa Bay Times.

Pasco Supervisor Brian Corley rebuffed the request, citing state privacy laws.

"I'm unable to provide any identifying information on those persons who have voted a provisional ballot," Corley said, according to the Times.

"By releasing information for those who completed a provisional ballot, it may be possible to determine how that individual cast their ballot in specific contests, thereby violating both Florida Statutes and the Florida Constitution with their right to cast a secret ballot," he said.

Election officials in other Florida counties may have disclosed the identities of which voters cast provisional ballots, however. The Sun-Sentinel reported that Broward Democratic Party chairwoman Cynthia Busch stated the Florida Democratic Party obtained on Wednesday the names of those who cast provisional ballots. She said Democrats set up phone banks and began calling those voters, urging them to go to county offices to present their identification information so that their ballots will count. 

Marc Elias, a Washington lawyer on Nelson's team, said the candidate was demanding a recount.

"We're doing this not just because it's automatic, but we're doing it to win," Elias said in a statement to the Times.

Ingoglia, the Florida GOP party chairman, welcomed the new tally, predicting that the outcome would remain the same.

"There are simply not enough ballots out there to change the election," he told Bouldan on CNN. "The margin may change by a couple thousand, but it's not going to change the outcome of the election.

"Rick Scott will be the next U.S. Senator from the state of Florida."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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It appears Florida's senate and the gubernatorial race between Republican Ron DeSantis and Democrat Andrew Gillum may be headed to a recount with DeSantis’s victory margin slipping below half a percent as votes from Democratic-leaning Broward and Palm Beach counties continue to flow in.
florida, senate race, gubernatorial race, desantis, gillum
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2018-16-08
Thursday, 08 November 2018 04:16 PM
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