Shades of 2000: With ballots still uncounted, Florida races are going to recounts

Shades of 2000: With ballots still uncounted, Florida races are going to recounts

(L to R) Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum, Florida Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis, Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL), Florida governor and Republican senatorial candidate Rick Scott. (Photo illustration: Yahoo News; photos: MPI10 / MediaPunch /IPX/ Getty Images, John Raoux/AP, Jeff J Mitchell /Getty Images, Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

If it’s November in the Sunshine State, it must be time for a recount … or two.

The two top races in the state, for governor and senator, seem likely to go to recounts, with less than 0.5 percent separating the Republican and Democratic candidates, which automatically triggers a new machine count under Florida law. A lead of less than 0.25 percent triggers a hand recount of actual ballots.

As of Thursday afternoon, in the race for governor, former Republican Rep. Ron DeSantis leads Tallahassee mayor Andrew Gillum by 0.47 percent. In the Senate race, Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican, is ahead of incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson by 0.22 percent.

Thousands of ballots remain uncounted, according to the Miami Herald, including in the Democratic stronghold of Broward County, where officials have yet to disclose early voting and absentee totals.

Gillum conceded Tuesday night but his campaign released a statement Thursday morning walking it back.

Having already declared victory, Scott’s campaign has attempted to portray the results as settled.

Florida has since abandoned the punch-ballot voting technology, which required election officials to examine “hanging chads” in an attempt to discern the intent of voters.

Election supervisors in Florida’s 67 counties have until 1 p.m. Saturday to send their unofficial results to the Secretary of State. If recounts do go forward, the state will find itself under national scrutiny just as it was in 2000.

“The recounts will be nationally watched,” Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner told county elections supervisors Thursday, according to the Tampa Bay Times. “[We’re] under a microscope.”

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