MIAMI – Authorities in Florida ordered on Saturday recounts in elections for governor and the United States Senate after receiving unofficial results from the state’s 67 counties.
Under Florida law, automatic recounts are triggered when the winning candidate’s margin of victory is 0.5 percentage points or less.
According to the official web page of the Florida Division of Elections, a recount was ordered for the US Senate race between Republican Rick Scott – the current state governor – and Democrat Bill Nelson, who seeks to be reelected and is 0.15 percentage points behind his contender.
With 8,184,631 votes counted, and after receiving results from Broward and Palm Beach counties, which tend to vote for the Democratic Party, Scott’s lead is now 12,562 votes, down from 35,000 on Nov. 7.
On Tuesday, when the mid-term elections took place, the mayor of Tallahassee, Andrew Gillum, accepted his defeat in the governor’s race against his contender, Republican former congressman Ron DeSantis, who had an 80,000-vote lead.
However, according to the results published on Saturday, that lead is now down to 0.4 percent, enough to trigger a recount.
According to the Florida Division of Elections, a recount in the election for agriculture commissioner will also take place, as Democratic candidate Nicole “Nikki” Fried’s lead over Republican Matt Caldwell is a mere 0.06 percentage points (5,326 votes).
The delay to count the votes in Broward and Palm Beach caused controversy and led Scott to file lawsuits against the electoral supervisors in the two counties.
Sen. Nelson also presented a lawsuit to demand that all provisional ballots be counted.
The Florida Division of Elections said the results of the recounts will be announced on Thursday before 3 pm.
The contentious Nov. 6 mid-term elections led Democrats to take control of the House of Representatives, while Republicans expanded their majority in the Senate.