Florida Declares Recount for Governor's and US Senate Races

Leroy Wright
November 11, 2018

The Florida Secretary of State ordered a machine recount in three races, including the one for agriculture commissioner.

Scott held a 0.18 percent lead over Nelson - a difference of about 15,000 votes - a small enough advantage to trigger a manual recount of votes.

The county must present the unofficial vote total by noon on Saturday. Trump said about that race: "Mayor Gillum conceded on Election Day and now Broward County has put him 'back into play.' Bill Nelson conceded Election - now he's back in play!?"

Gillum's campaign team has hired attorney Barry Richard, who famously represented George W. Bush during the 2000 presidential race hanging chads legal drama in which Bush was eventually declared the victor in Florida by a close margin over Al Gore.

The two contests, along with those for governor in Georgia and for the US Senate in Arizona, are the most high-profile races still undecided after Tuesday's congressional elections.

"We do not have an active investigation", Florida Department of Law Enforcement spokeswoman Gretl Plessinger said.

Judges ruled in favor of Scott late Friday, ordering election supervisors in the two counties to release information on the ballot-counting.

In the governor's race, Democrat Andrew Gillum's campaign said Thursday it's readying for a possible recount.

On Saturday, Rick Scott called on Florida sheriffs to "ensure any violations in the recount process, as provided by Florida law".

Snipes had said that "We have not been able to determine (the ballot problems) yet because we haven't talked to all the workers".

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Scott's lawsuits accuse Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes and Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher of mishandling the ballot count and preventing observers from having full access as votes are counted. "I fought hard even for the votes that I didn't get, and in this process, I am fully committed to seeing every one of those votes counted".

Around the state on Friday, allegations and rumors of misplaced or lost votes fueled simmering anger and confusion as the campaigns, lawyers, operatives and freelance rabble-rousers girded themselves for a re-run of the pitched partisan combat that took over the state during the 2000 presidential recount.

The error was found after Brenda Snipes, a Broward County official who has a long history of controversies involving vote counting, agreed to present 205 provisional ballots to the county's canvassing board for inspection, the Miami Herald reported.

"And then he made some veiled threat or suggestion that he was going to somehow involve law enforcement".

The divide between Scott and Nelson is now within the.25 percent margin needed to ensure the race would first go to a machine recount and then, if the margin holds, a hand recount.

Florida's Republican Governor Rick Scott has seen his lead narrow over incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Bill Nelson to about 12,500 votes, or 0.15 percent, by Saturday afternoon, according to a CNBC report.

"We believe when every legal ballot is counted we'll win this election", Nelson said in a statement.

President Trump himself has gone after Snipes, telling reporters Friday, "She has had a disgusting history ... and all of a sudden they're finding votes out of nowhere".

"I will not sit idly by while unethical liberals try to steal this election", Scott told reporters. "We believe that at the end of this process that Senator Nelson is going to be declared the victor".

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