Florida Man Strikes Again: State Begins Recounts

It has been said that those who do not know the past are doomed to repeat it. That certainly seems to be the case in Florida. Anyone old enough to remember the Bush v. Gore fiasco of 2000 may feel like they have stepped into a time machine. While the election was held days ago, recounts have been started for two of the most watched races in the country as well as the race for agriculture commissioner.

The margin of victory for incumbent Florida Governor Rick Scott (R) who is running against incumbent Senator Bill Nelson (D) for his Senate seat has dropped to about 15,000 votes. This represents approximately .15 percent. Any electoral victory with a margin of .25 percent or less goes to a mandatory, manual recount.

As for the gubernatorial race, former Congressman Ron DeSantis (R) has a larger lead over Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum. DeSantis currently less by about 34,000 votes. This is a lead of about 4.1 percent, below the .5 percent needed to trigger a machine recount.

Lastly, the contest to pick the next agriculture commissioner is even closer. Democrat Nikki Fried has gone as far as to declare herself the victor in the race while Republican Matt Caldwell is suing at least one Supervisor of Elections and the state plans on conducting a recount.

The machine recounts need to be completed by Thursday, November 15th and the races to be recounted by hand will have more time. In hand recounts, undervotes and overvotes are looked over. An undervote happens when a person has not voted for either the number of options they are entitled to or they skipped races altogether. The ballots in Broward County were confusing enough that many people skipped the senate race completely. Overvotes happen when a person changes their vote or votes for too many options.
Now the knives are out. Chris Hartline, a spokesperson for the Scott campaign, said, “It’s time for Senator Nelson to accept reality and spare the state of the Florida the time, expense and discord of a recount. Nelson’s response was clear, he wants a recount to continue. He said, “We have every expectation the recount will be full and fair and will continue taking action to ensure every vote is counted without interference or efforts to undermine the democratic process. We believe when every legal ballot is counted we’ll win this election.”
After conceding the race on Tuesday night, Gillum annouced he is looking forward to the recount and tool back his words from the concession speech. On Saturday he said, “I am replacing my words of concession with an uncompromised and unapologetic call that we count every single vote.”
There will be more to come as this is a developing story.