Early voting ballots recounted Thursday after tight race for Fla. House seat

Machine recount shows .08 separation; Hand recount begins Thursday

DORAL, Fla. – Early voting ballots were recounted Thursday after a tight race for Florida House District 118 seat.

Democrat Robert Asencio edged out Republican David Rivera by just 68 votes in the general election.

A recount began Monday, and staff at Miami-Dade election headquarters in Doral began counting early voting ballots on Thursday.

The recount was processed through voting machines, but some damaged ballots had to be inspected and reproduced.

The machine recount showed a .08 separation and will now go to a hand recount.

By law, if machine recount results come in with less than a .25 percent difference, election officials must do a second recount by hand.

Rivera was at the election headquarters Monday with a stack of affidavits from voters who claimed that they voted for him, but their ballots were not counted, because their signatures did not match up with the signatures the election office had on file.

"The legislature can take any evidence it wants into consideration, so all that evidence on mismatched and omitted signatures -- there are about 220 votes that haven't been counted that the legislature can look into," he said. 

But Asencio doesn't seem too concerned about the recount.                                         

"We had a good lead of, I think it was 1,700 votes in early votes, so I'm confident that that's going to show up again today on the recount," Asencio said.

Rivera is a former U.S. representative for Florida's 25th congressional district and was a former Florida state representative who served District 112.

Asencio is a former law enforcement officer and military veteran.

The outcome of the race will reconfigure the balance of power in the Florida statehouse this year.  With Rivera, Gov. Rick Scott will have a veto-proof Republican super majority. With Asencio, the Democrats will have 41 votes to potentially override Scott by one.

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