Waiting for winners: Possible recounts loom in tight Florida gov, Senate contests

Remigio Civitarese
Novembre 10, 2018

Governor Rick Scott meanwhile accused Nelson of trying to steal the election. Trump tweeted, "Mayor Gillum conceded on Election Day and now Broward County has put him "back into play".

But Florida's ballot chaos - rife with intrigue and Trump's accusation of abuse by officials in Democrat-heavy counties - raises fresh questions about why the world's most powerful democracy is incapable of producing swift and accurate election results across all 50 states.

Mr Gillum trails Mr DeSantis now by less than 38,000 votes, which is in recount range if the margin holds.

He told a press conference "every Floridian should be concerned there may be rampant fraud". "Votes are coming out of nowhere", Scott said as his lead over Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson fell to 15,079 votes (down from 38,717 early Wednesday), for a margin of 0.18%, per the Hill.

His claim to have won the election was backed by President Trump who tweeted: "Law enforcement is looking into another big corruption scandal having to do with electoral fraud in Broward and Palm Beach".

The Scott camp responded by calling the Democrat's reticence to concede "a sad way for Bill Nelson to end his career", NBC News reported.

Gaetz called in to Fox News's Outnumbered Overtime Friday and didn't mince words - pronouncing Broward County a "banana republic" where 80,000 ballots were "spoken into existence".

"The fact is that these laws, when taken together, condition the right to vote of millions of Floridians who vote-by-mail, or wind up voting provisionally, on the untrained opinions of canvassing boards or elections officials as to whether or not signatures match", said Nelson's campaign attorney, Mark Elias.

Scott said he will not accept the behavior of "unethical liberals".

County election canvassing boards, which determine whether the provisional ballots can be counted, have until noon Saturday to submit unofficial results to the state Division of Elections.

"As Nelson's legal team pushed forward, Scott's campaign quickly derided Elias as a hired gun" seeking to "steal" an election Nelson "already lost". For all other races, county canvassing boards are responsible for ordering a recount.

"The goal here is to see that all the votes in Florida are counted and counted accurately", McLaughlin said in a statement.

"A U.S. Senate seat & a statewide cabinet officer are now potentially in the hands of an elections supervisor with a history of incompetence & of blatant violations of state & federal laws", the Florida lawmaker wrote in a Twitter post Thursday.

"This is a feature, not a flaw", Elias said of the ongoing counting of provisional and absentee ballots.

In the governor's race, Democrat Andrew Gillum's campaign said Thursday it's readying for a possible recount.

Republican Matt Caldwell and his campaign for agricultural commissioner filed a lawsuit on Friday in Broward County Circuit Court against Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes. Scott's thin lead over Nelson has narrowed in the vote-counting in the days since he declared victory on Tuesday night.

On Thursday, the governor's race had narrowed to less than 40,000 votes, putting it into the margin requiring an automatic machine recount.

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