Fla. Senate, Agriculture Commissioner races headed to manual recounts

Ron DeSantis' margin of victory remains unchanged

By Peter Burke - Local10.com Managing Editor, Associated Press
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Florida's secretary of state has ordered a manual recount in the state's hotly contested U.S. Senate race.

Department of State spokeswoman Sarah Revell said in a news release Thursday evening that unofficial returns from a machine recount had triggered a second recount in the Senate race and the state agriculture commissioner's race.

The release said the results of the manual recounts are due by noon Sunday.

Unofficial recount results on the secretary of state's website show Republican Gov. Rick Scott with a .15 percentage point lead over Democratic incumbent U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson. State law requires a hand recount of races with margins of 0.25 percentage points or less.

Counties have until Sunday to inspect the ballots that did not record a vote when put through the machines. Those ballots are re-examined to see whether the voter skipped the race or marked the ballot in a way that the machines cannot read but can be deciphered.

Republican Ron DeSantis is virtually assured of winning the nationally watched governor's race over Democrat Andrew Gillum. Florida finished a machine recount Thursday that showed Gillum without enough votes to force a manual recount.

South Florida counties reported different numbers for multiple races after the state-imposed Thursday deadline for the Florida recount has come and gone

Broward County had the largest gap, showing that all three Republican candidates in the closely contested races for governor, U.S. Senate and agriculture commissioner gained votes.

Broward County

Candidate Nov. 6 Total Recount Difference
Rick Scott 211,119 210,513 -606
Bill Nelson 471,334 469,949 -1,385
Ron DeSantis 221,873 221,252 -621
Andrew Gillum 481,677 480,304 -1,373
Matt Caldwell 213,938 213,322 -616
Nikki Fried 478,829 477,448 -1,381


In Miami-Dade County, each candidate lost a couple hundred votes.

Miami-Dade County

Candidate Nov. 6 Total Recount Difference
Rick Scott 316,014 315,817 -197
Bill Nelson 485,195 484,938 -257
Ron DeSantis 311,762 311,556 -206
Andrew Gillum 479,041 478,813 -228
Matt Caldwell 305,197 305,034 -163
Nikki Fried 475,785 475,594 -191


U.S. District Judge Mark Walker on Thursday rejected a request by U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson and Democrats to give counties more time to finish recounts.

"A vote denied is justice denied," Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum said in a statement Thursday. "The state of Florida must count every legally cast vote. As today's unofficial reports and recent court proceedings make clear, there are tens of thousands of votes that have yet to be counted. We plan to do all we can to ensure that every voice is heard in this process. Voters need to know that their decision to participate in this election, and every election, matters. It is not over until every legally casted vote is counted."

The election will be certified Tuesday.

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