Not so fast: tight races call for recount
By Emily Kois
Following an expected tight race in Florida last Tuesday, a Leon County judge has ordered a recount in Palm Beach County, Fla. Election officials will now have an extra five days to complete a recount of votes in all three close races.
Any margins under 0.5 percent deem an automatic recount in the state.
Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner ordered recounts in the Senate race as well as for governor and agriculture commissioner on Saturday. With the recount, it will leave Floridians still wondering who their next senator, governor and agriculture commissioner will be.
Last week on election night, the highly anticipated Senate race between Florida’s Republican Gov. Rick Scott and incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson was one that left most in suspense.
Early on it appeared that Republican Rick Scott, Florida’s governor, was headed to the Senate, and Republican Ron DeSantis was headed for governor.
With these early predictions, the Democratic candidate for governor, Andrew Gillum, gave an early-morning concession speech.
However, as the night continued the margin shrunk, ultimately making the race too close to call. Scott was leading incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson by only 12,500 votes, and DeSantis was ahead of Gillum by almost 34,000.
On Sunday, Gillum withdrew his concession, which was not binding.
Meanwhile, Nelson’s campaign challenged how Florida election officials count and evaluate ballots, filing lawsuits in federal court.
With all of this, the state is currently in the middle of a machine recount. Following this, if the recount still puts the races under a .25 margin then there could be a manual recount.
There have been many allegations of significant undervotes in the Senate, not detecting a vote for a candidate at all. This issue was found predominantly in Broward County, hence the ordered recount.
Nelson’s campaign is hoping it was a machine error, allowing the extra votes to be captured if the ballots were manually counted.
Following this order, President Donald Trump had some choice words tweeting out Monday: “The Florida Election should be called in favor of Rick Scott and Ron DeSantis in that large numbers of new ballots showed up out of nowhere, and many ballots are missing or forged. An honest vote count is no longer possible-ballots massively infected. Must go with Election Night!”
A day after the Monday tweet broke and allegations continued to worsen, President Trump then tweeted out the following: “When will Bill Nelson concede in Florida? The characters running Broward and Palm Beach voting will not be able to “find” enough votes, too much spotlight on them now!”
However, this is nothing new for Florida. 18 years ago, in the race between Bush versus Gore, a recount was also called during that too-close-to-call election.
Miami Herald pointed out that even several lawyers are participating in this recount who were apart of the 2000 recount between Bush and Gore.
Bill Scherer, who represented George W. Bush and is now representing Scott, and Mitchell Berger, a lawyer for Al Gore is now part of the Florida Democratic Party’s legal team.
Now, Floridians must continue to wait to find out who their next officials will be.
Counties in Florida will have until Thursday at 8 p.m. to finish their recounts. However, this received some backlash as many counties complained they could not finish in time. With that, the final vote will be due on Nov. 20.