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Recount ordered in Rouson-Narain race

There will be a recount.

Two days after Democrat Darryl Rouson was determined to be leading fellow Democrat Ed Narain in the closest primary in Florida, Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner officially ordered a machine recount of the race for Florida Senate District 19. As of Wedneday, Rouson was leading Narain by just 76 votes out of more than 37,000 votes cast for the district, which includes heavily Democratic areas of Pinellas and Hillsborough counties.

Detzner's action means results of a recount must be tabulated and complete by 3 p.m. on Sunday. Once those results are reviewed, Detzner will then have to determine if a manual recount is necessary. If so, that must be complete by Tuesday by 5 p.m. in order for the state to certify all of the state's results from the Aug. 30 primary elections.

It's not the only race facing a manual recount. Detzner also ordered a recount of a judicial race in North Florida in the Jacksonville area. In the 4th Judicial Circuit race - a non-partisan contest - Mark Hulsey was leading Gerald L. Wilkerson by just 760 votes after more than 192,000 votes were cast.

State law requires that if the candidates are separated by less than a quarter of 1 percent after the machine recount, a manual recount is required of all overvotes and undervotes — that is, every paper ballot in which an optical machine recorded a voter as having voted for more than one candidate or for no candidates.

The canvassing boards also will review provisional ballots cast in the race, and their decisions are subject to challenge in circuit court, which could delay the result for a long time.

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