Recounts for Florida governor and senate races

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Florida will hold recounts in its governor and senate races, the state’s secretary of state has said.

The two contests are still undecided after Tuesday’s midterm elections and Florida law dictates that a recount is required because the margins are less than 0.5%.

Florida’s Republican governor Rick Scott was running for senate and had a lead of 0.15% (about 12,500 votes) over Democrat Bill Nelson by Saturday afternoon.

Voters line up to vote as polls opened in the U.S. midterm congressional and gubernatorial elections in Deerfield Beach, Florida  Recounts for Florida governor and senate races skynews midterm elections florida 4477802
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There were long queues to vote in Deerfield Beach, Florida

In the race for governor, Republican Ron DeSantis was leading Democrat Andrew Gillum by about 33,700 votes (0.41%).

Mr Gillum had conceded but at a press conference in Tallahassee on Saturday he changed his mind, saying: “I am replacing my words of concession with an uncompromised and unapologetic call that we count every single vote.

“The outcome of this election will have consequences beyond who wins and who loses.

“How we handle this election in this process will have reverberations for democracy, for an entire generation of voters.”

Mr Nelson said he was confident that “when every legal ballot is counted, we’ll win this election”.

Mr Scott filed lawsuits against election supervisors in two counties alleging breaches of election law and writing on Twitter: “We will not let unethical liberals steal this election.”

Rick Scott and Bill Nelson  Recounts for Florida governor and senate races skynews us midterm elections 4479221
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Rick Scott and Bill Nelson are in Florida’s senate race

US President Donald Trump accused some state officials of “trying to steal” the elections, but he did not offer evidence for his claims.

After the machine recount results are delivered, there will be manual recounts if the margin is less than 0.25% and there may also be legal challenges.

Tuesday’s midterm elections saw the Democrats take over the House of Representatives while the Republicans strengthened their control of the senate.

The governor race in Georgia, where Republican Brian Kemp leads Democrat Stacey Abrams, and the senate race in Arizona, where Democrat Kyrsten Sinema is ahead of Republican Martha McSally, are still in doubt.

The situation in Florida is reminiscent of the 2000 presidential election, where the result was uncertain for five weeks before Republican George W Bush was finally judged the winner over Democrat Al Gore.

At the time, some counties used a process whereby voters poked out chads, leaving tiny holes in their ballots alongside the name of their chosen candidate.

The confusion arose because some didn’t press hard enough resulting in each ballot being re-examined by hand.

Palm Beach County had a “butterfly ballot”, where trying to make the candidate’s names larger resulted in them being listed in two columns instead of one.

The design may have confused voters and analysts have said this was at Mr Gore’s expense.





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