Midterm elections Florida polls face possible recounts US news

Midterm elections  Florida polls face possible recounts   US news

Midterm elections Florida polls face possible recounts US news Senate and governor races still too close to call despite Andrew Gillum’s concession Senate and governor races still too close to call despite Andrew Gillum’s concession Razor-thin margins in the Senate and governor’s races in Florida are raising the possibility of recounts in two of the most closely watched contests of the US midterm elections. In the governor’s race, the campaign of the Democratic candidate, Andrew Gillum, said it was preparing for a possible recount. He conceded to his Republican rival, Ron DeSantis, on Tuesday, although the race has since tightened. As of Thursday afternoon, DeSantis led Gillum by 0.47 of a percentage point. The Democratic incumbent senator, Bill Nelson, has also begun preparing for a potential recount in a race still too close to call against the Republican Rick Scott, the outgoing governor. Scott held a 0.21 percentage point lead over Nelson on Thursday afternoon. The tight races underscored Florida’s status as a perennial swing state where elections are often decided by the thinnest of margins. Since 2000, when Florida decided the presidency by 537 votes in a contest that took more than five weeks to resolve, the state has seen many close elections, but never so many dead heats in one year. And like 2000, the counting process is becoming contentious. Scott said at a news conference on Thursday night that he was asking the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate elections offices in the Democratic strongholds of Palm Beach and Broward counties, questioning whether they were trying to inflate the Democratic vote. Scott’s campaign separately filed a lawsuit demanding that the Broward County superviser of elections be ordered to turn over records detailing the counting and collection of ballots cast. Nelson’s campaign released a statement saying Scott’s action appeared to be politically motivated. Meanwhile, President Trump tweeted: “Law Enforcement is looking into another big corruption scandal having to do with Election Fraud in #Broward and Palm Beach. Florida voted for Rick Scott!” Under Florida law, a recount is mandatory if the winning candidate’s margin is less than 0.5 percentage points when the first unofficial count is verified on Saturday by Florida’s secretary of state. Gillum’s campaign said it was monitoring the situation with an elections lawyer and readying for a possible state-mandated recount. He hired the attorney Barry Richard, who represented George Bush in the 2000 recount. “On Tuesday night, the Gillum for Governor campaign operated with the best information available about the number of outstanding ballots left to count. Since that time, it has become clear there are many more uncounted ballots than was originally reported,” the campaign said. “We are committed to ensuring every single vote in Florida is counted.” DeSantis declined to discuss prospects for a recount, telling reporters he was “very proud to be elected”. Elections officials in Broward County, where Democrats have a large advantage, were still reviewing ballots on Thursday. Brenda Snipes, the Broward Elections superviser, said she did not know how many ballots remained to be counted, but all were being processed. She also did not know how many provisional, military and mismarked ballots needed to be counted. Marc Elias, a lawyer hired by Nelson, said he expected the margin to narrow further. “The results of the 2018 Senate election are unknown and I think that you and the elections officials should treat it as such,” Elias told reporters on a conference call. “We believe that at the end of this process that Sen Nelson is going to be declared the winner.” Florida counties have until noon on Saturday to submit unofficial election results to the Department of State. The secretary of state, Ken Detzner, a Scott appointee, will review the results and decide whether to order recounts.

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