Unofficial vote tallies could prompt recounts in 3 contested midterm elections

Recount mandatory if winner's margin is less than 0.5 percentage points

By Janine Stanwood - Anchor/Reporter, Louis Aguirre - Anchor/Reporter, Ross Palombo - Washington, D.C., Bureau Chief, Andrea Torres - Digital Reporter/Producer

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - The supervisors of elections in both Broward and Palm Beach counties must submit their unofficial vote tallies by 12 p.m. Saturday.

When the Florida's secretary of state verifies the first unofficial count on Saturday afternoon, and the winning candidate’s margin is less than 0.5 percentage points, a recount is mandatory.

The results could prompt recounts on three contested Florida elections: 

- The U.S. Senate race between Republican Gov. Rick Scott and incumbent Democrat Sen. Bill Nelson.

- The governor’s race between former Republican U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis and the Democratic mayor of Tallahassee, Andrew Gillum.

- The Florida Agriculture Commissioner race between Republican U.S. Rep. Matt Caldwell and Democrat Nicole "Nikki" Fried. 

Scott’s lead was 0.18 percentage points and DeSantis was leading by 0.43 percentage points on Friday night.

Florida law requires a machine recount when the leading candidate’s margin is 0.5 percentage points or less, and a hand recount if it’s 0.25 or less.

President Donald Trump, who supported Scott and DeSantis, was waiting for updates in Paris. 

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