New, recounted vote totals are in statewide, and Bill Nelson and Rick Scott are headed for a hand recount in Florida’s nationally watched race for U.S. Senate.
With the 3 p.m. deadline for elections supervisors to submit new vote tallies to the state having now passed in Florida’s Panhandle, new totals show that Gov. Scott leads U.S. Sen. Nelson by 12,603 votes out of more than 8.1 million cast. That margin — of 0.15 percent — falls within the margins that trigger an automatic hand recount under Florida law. Secretary of State Ken Detzner, Florida’s top elections officials, ordered a hand recount this afternoon.
Detzner also ordered a hand recount in the race for commissioner of agriculture, in which Nicole “Nikki” Fried leads state Rep. Matt Caldwell by 5,307 votes, or 0.066 percent. In the race for governor, Ron DeSantis escaped a hand recount in his race against Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, who trailed by 0.41 percent.
Gillum, should he wish to challenge the outcome of the election, would have 10 days from the certification of the results, which is currently scheduled to take place on Tuesday.
Detzner ordered machine recounts in all three races Saturday after the state’s 67 elections supervisors turned in their unofficial results. The numbers showed that each race was within one half of one percentage point, the margin at which Florida law requires an automatic machine recount. Counties had until 3 p.m. Thursday to submit their new, recounted vote totals to Detzner’s office.
To conduct the manual recounts, Florida’s elections canvassing boards will work alongside teams of volunteers to pore over thousands of undervotes and overvoters, where machines deemed that voters either voted for too many candidates or didn’t vote in some races at all. That process must be concluded by Sunday.