TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida faced the prospect of recounts in the razor-thin races for governor and U.S. Senate, potentially prolonging the battle over two of this year’s most-closely watched campaigns.
In the governor’s race, Democrat Andrew Gillum’s campaign said Thursday it’s prepared for a possible recount. He conceded to Republican Ron DeSantis on Tuesday night, though the margin of the race has since tightened. As of Thursday afternoon, DeSantis led Gillum by 0.47 percentage point.
Meanwhile, Democratic incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson has already begun preparing for a potential recount in a race still too close to call against Republican Gov. Rick Scott. Nelson’s lawyer called that race a “jump ball” — though Scott’s campaign urged Nelson to concede. Scott held a 0.21 percentage 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 sort out, 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.
As outgoing governor, Scott said at a news conference Thursday night that he was ordering the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate elections offices in the Democratic strongholds of Palm Beach and Broward counties, accusing officials of failing to certify results while they continue to seek ballots for the results they want. Meanwhile, Senate candidate Scott filed a lawsuit demanding that the Broward County supervisor of elections be ordered to turn over several records detailing the counting and collection of ballots cast.
Nelson’s campaign released a statement saying Scott’s action appears to be politically motivated and borne out of desperation.
On Thursday evening, President Donald Trump weighed in with a tweet on the Senate race, citing the possibility of election fraud. 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!”
Sarah Revell, a spokeswoman for the Florida Department of State, said she didn’t know of any other recount in a governor or Senate race in state history. She was researching the subject Thursday.
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 Saturday by Florida’s secretary of …read more
Source:: Deseret News – U.S. & World News