Manual recounts ordered for U.S. Senate, Commissioner of Agriculture and State Senate races

DeSantis apparent winner in Governor's race
Posted at 5:46 PM, Nov 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-16 07:41:40-05

TAMPA, Fla. — Unofficial Florida election results show that the governor's race seems to be settled after a machine recount but the U.S. Senate race is heading for a hand recount.

Florida's Secretary of State ordered a manual recount in the state's hotly contested U.S. Senate race on Thursday evening.

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 results posted on a state website show the margin between U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson and Gov. Rick Scott is still thin enough to trigger a second review. State law requires a hand recount of races with margins of 0.25 percentage points or less.

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Election offices across Florida will have to hand count at a bare minimum almost 54,000 ballots in the U.S. Senate race.

A survey of 64 of Florida’s 67 counties by The Associated Press put the number of overvotes and undervotes Thursday evening at 53,769 ballots in the U.S. Senate race between incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson and GOP Gov. Rick Scott.

The only counties that had not reported those counts were three of the state’s largest: Broward, Lee and Palm Beach counties.

In an overvote, a voter picks more than one choice for the same race. With an undervote, the voter does not pick a choice in a race.

The Florida Department of State ordered a manual recount in five races: U.S. Senate, Commissioner of Agriculture, State Senate District 18, State House of Representatives District 26 and State House of Representatives District 89.

The State Senator District 18 race is between Janet Cruz and Dana Young in Hillsborough County.

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.

The election will be certified Tuesday.