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Andrew Gillum, Ron DeSantis Florida governor's race appears headed to a recount



The Florida governor contest that captivated the nation as a referendum on President Donald J. Trump isn't over.

Thursday afternoon shortly after 2, the unofficial count gave Republican nominee Ron DeSantis a 38,000-vote lead on Democrat Andrew Gillum. That appeared to be within the 0.5 percent margin that requires an automatic machine recount once the count is certified.

More than 8 million votes were cast in the contest to replace the term-limited Gov. Rick Scott. DeSantis, embracing the mantle of governor-elect, expressed confidence that his lead will hold.

"The results of the election were clear. I am now focused on the transition effort and will allow the legal efforts regarding the election to proceed, as is necessary, as the process unfolds,” he tweeted.

Two other statewide races, U.S. Senate and Florida Agriculture Commissioner, also appear undecided. As victory margins dwindled into the state-mandated recount zone, the Democratic and Republican parties girded for the upcoming battles over the Nov. 6 election.

The Republican Party of Florida sent out a fundraising letter so that it will have the resources to “. . . allow us to fight back” in challenges to the Election Day count.

“We had huge wins because of people like you. It’s our job to make sure no shenanigans happen!” said the RPOF e-mail pitch for donations.

In Washington, the Democratic National Committee chairman told a breakfast the DNC had mustered “an army of attorneys” in Florida for the recount.

The election results are due at the Capitol noon Saturday. Once he knows how many people voted, Secretary of State Ken Detzner can then determine officially which races are over and which fall within the margin to be sent back to county elections supervisors for another tabulation of results.

Detzner told election supervisors Thursday morning to prepare to work this weekend.

“The recounts will be nationally watched, we’re under a microscope,” Detzner told election supervisors in a conference call, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

The election results are due at the Capitol noon Saturday. Once he knows how many people voted, Secretary of State Ken Detzner can then determine officially which races are over and which fall within the margin to be sent back to county elections supervisors for another tabulation of results.

Detzner told election supervisors Thursday morning to prepare to work this weekend.

“The recounts will be nationally watched, we’re under a microscope,” Detzner told election supervisors in a conference call, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

“We still have to be willing to show up every single day and demand our seat at the table,” Gillum wrote in a Facebook message and video. “So, again, thank you. Let’s continue this fight for progress together.”

The size of the victory margin that triggers a recount cannot be determined until the total amount of votes is calculated Detzner does that Saturday at noon.

If it is at least a half point, voting machines are checked for accuracy and the ballots are resubmitted. If those results are 0.25 percent or less, then the Supervisors of Election Offices will do a hand recount.

“It’s what people became familiar with in 2000, where the canvassing boards have to eyeball each of the ballots to be sure they were counted correctly,” said Barry Richards, the Tallahassee attorney who represented George W. Bush when Al Gore contested the Florida count.

Richards, who has represented Gillum this election, said reforms implemented after Bush v. Gore have made the recount process simpler and much more straightforward.

“The U.S. Supreme Court and the Florida Supreme Court made clear in 2000 that every vote has to be counted,” said Richards. “We don’t always get it right, but as far as the law is concerned, that’s the central element. Every vote probably cast has to be counted.”

Once the recounts are done, candidates have another 10 days to contest the results in circuit court based on a laundry list of irregularities.

#gillum #desantis #rondesantis #andrewgillum #florida #vote

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