Re­count pos­si­ble in race for Florida’s gover­nor

The Charlotte Observer - - Front Page - BY BREN­DAN FAR­RING­TON As­so­ci­ated Press

Demo­crat An­drew Gil­lum’s cam­paign said Thurs­day that it’s pre­pared for a pos­si­ble re­count in the Florida gover­nor’s race that he con­ceded to Repub­li­can Ron DeSan­tis on Tues­day night.

At the same time, the U.S. Se­nate race be­tween Demo­cratic in­cum­bent Bill Nel­son and Repub­li­can Gov. Rick Scott re­mained too close to call, and Nel­son’s elec­tions lawyer pre­dicted it would be a “jump ball” as it be­came more likely there would be a re­count in that race.

Gil­lum’s cam­paign said it’s mon­i­tor­ing the sit­u­a­tion with an elec­tions lawyer and pre­par­ing for a pos­si­ble state-man­dated re­count.

“On Tues­day night, the Gil­lum for Gover­nor cam­paign op­er­ated with the best in­for­ma­tion avail­able about the num­ber of out­stand­ing bal­lots left to count. Since that time, it has be­come clear there are many more un­counted bal­lots than was orig­i­nally re­ported,” the cam­paign said. “We are com­mit­ted to en­sur­ing ev­ery sin­gle vote in Florida is counted.”

A spokesman for DeSan­tis wouldn’t com­ment on the sit­u­a­tion. DeSan­tis con­tin­ues to move for­ward as the pre­sump­tive gover­nor. He ap­pointed a tran­si­tion team Wed­nes­day.

Florida law re­quires a re­count in races in which the win­ning mar­gin is 0.5 per­cent­age points or fewer, un­less the trail­ing can­di­date says in writ­ing that he or she doesn’t want a re­count. Can­vass­ing boards con­duct the re­count by run­ning bal­lots through vote tab­u­la­tion ma­chines.

In elec­tions with a win­ning mar­gin of 0.25 per­cent­age points or fewer, the state re­quires a hand re­count of bal­lots where ma­chines didn’t de­tect a vote.

As of Wed­nes­day morn­ing, DeSan­tis led Gil­lum by 43,039 votes out of nearly 8.2 mil­lion cast, or a dif­fer­ence of 0.526 per­cent­age points.

In the Se­nate race, Scott clung to a 21,986-vote lead, or a dif­fer­ence of 0.27 per­cent­age points.

Elec­tions of­fi­cials in Broward County, where Democrats have a large ad­van­tage, were still count­ing votes Thurs­day. Marc Elias, a lawyer hired by Nel­son, said he ex­pects the mar­gin to con­tinue to nar­row.

“The re­sults of the 2018 Se­nate elec­tion are un­known and I think that you and the elec­tions of­fi­cials should treat it as such,” Elias told re­porters on a con­fer­ence call. “We be­lieve that at the end of this process that Se­na­tor Nel­son is go­ing to be de­clared the win­ner and is go­ing to re­turn to the United States Se­nate.”

He said pro­vi­sional and mail-in bal­lots ini­tially re­jected be­cause of­fi­cials didn’t be­lieve sig­na­tures matched those on file, his­tor­i­cally tend to break for Democrats.

Scott’s cam­paign has said Nel­son should con­cede the race rather than push for a re­count.

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