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Florida Senate, Governor Races To Undergo Machine Recount

Posted at 4:33 PM, Nov 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-10 16:33:34-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fl. (NBC NEWS) – Statewide machine recount has been ordered by the Secretary of State of Florida Ken Detzner for hotly contested key races in Florida, officials announced Saturday.

The recount will include the U.S. Senate race, governor’s race, and commissioner of agriculture race, according to the a spokeswoman for the Florida Department of State.

Results of the recount are due no later that 3 p.m. ET on Thursday, Nov. 15.

After the announcement, Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum said he was “replacing my earlier concession with an unapologetic and uncompromised call to count every vote,” in a tweet posted Saturday afternoon.

Andrew Gillum


I am replacing my earlier concession with an unapologetic and uncompromised call to count every vote.

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“This has been a difficult election process for all of us … this process is not over until every single vote is counted,” Gillum said at a press conference on Saturday, adding he is prepared to accept whatever the outcome of the recount might be as long as all votes are counted.

The margin in the Florida governor race is now DeSantis over Gilliam by just over 33,000 votes, or 0.41 percent.

DeSantis, a former U.S. representative, has said little about the recount and is instead proceeding as if he won the election, appointing a transition team and preparing to take office in January.

On Saturday, all 67 Florida counties had returned their unofficial results to Tallahassee. Included in that was Broward County, which has been the epicenter of controversy over the Senate race between Democratic incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson and Republican challenger Gov. Rick Scott.

“We have every expectation the recount will be full and fair and will continue taking action to ensure every vote is counted without interference or efforts to undermine the democratic process,” Nelson said in a statement following the announcement. “We believe when every legal ballot is counted we’ll win this election”

Scott leads Nelson, who never conceded, by just over 12,000 votes or .15 percent. Since 2000, there has never been a recount that has closed a margin of that size.

Scott declared victory Tuesday night, but many organizations, including NBC News, said the race was too close to call.

“The voters of Florida have spoken and Rick Scott was elected to the United States Senate in a close but decisive victory,” said Chris Hartline, a spokesperson for Scott’s campaign. “The margin of victory is larger than any recount since 2000 has ever closed, with the average recount changing the outcome by just a few hundred votes. It’s time for Senator Nelson to accept reality and spare the state of the Florida the time, expense and discord of a recount.”

At approximately 1 a.m. ET on Wednesday morning, just hours after the polls closed, Scott led Nelson by approximately 55,000 votes, but as counties continued to count their votes, that gulf shrunk to a razor thin margin.

It is not uncommon for election officials to continue counting ballots, such as mail-in and provisional, following Election Day.

But the battle for Nelson’s Senate seat has been heated, with both sides filing lawsuits and trading verbal jabs.

Scott has said Nelson is trying to steal the election, while Nelson is accusing Scott of trying to stop elections officials from counting every ballot. President Donald Trump has weighed in on behalf of Scott, calling the situation “a disgrace.”

Trump on Friday said Scott “won by a comfortable margin” before suggesting without evidence that Democrats were committing fraud in the election.

“Every couple of hours, it goes down a little bit,” Trump said of Scott’s margin.

Scott has also hurled unsubstantiated allegations of “rampant fraud” at the Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes and Palm Beach Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher, claiming with no evidence that the supervisors tried to steal the election.

Ali Vitali reported from Tallahassee, Florida. Kalhan Rosenblatt reported from New York City.