Florida recount for Bill Nelson, Andrew Gillum? Here’s how it works
Brevard voter turnout for the midterm elections set a record. Here are the Election Day 2018 results in Brevard County races. RACHAEL THOMAS/FLORIDA TODAY
Election night in Florida saw close races in some of the biggest races this year. Tallahassee mayor and Democratic nominee Andrew Gillum conceded the governor’s race to Republican Ron DeSantis. Unofficial results showed Republican Rick Scott narrowly ahead of Democrat Bill Nelson in the race for Senate.
Election results: Bill Nelson pushes ahead with recount in Senate race against Rick Scott
Even the race for Ag Commissioner is expecting a recount and locally, a race for a Tallahassee City Commission seat appears too close to call.
So could these 2018 races go to a recount? Here’s what state laws say:
Ron DeSantis by less than a percent
Florida state law requires the margin of victory to be equal or less than 0.5 percent of total votes. A machine recount is used in the case but if the margin is equal or less than 0.25 percent, a hand recount is ordered.
In Gillum’s case, the numbers Wednesday morning showed him with 3,996,679 votes to DeSantis’ 4,052,118, a margin of 0.7 percent. (NOTE: These numbers are being updated frequently today. We’ll do our best to update them.).
Nelson’s campaign says his race is headed to a recount Tuesday. Unofficial numbers showed a difference of 30,239 votes between the Senator and challenger Scott. That’s less than a one-half percentage point.
For Nelson, the next step in this process is for county supervisors of elections recheck their vote tally and for the campaign to contact voters whose ballots weren’t counted due to lack of ID or a matching address by noon Saturday.
That deadline could be extended if the recount proceeds. Secretary of State Ken Detzner had not announced an official recount as of noon Wednesday.
Ballots counted after Election night
Both provisional and absentee votes from overseas are counted after Election Day. Provisional ballots are required by federal law and are used when there is uncertainty about a voter’s identity. These ballots are investigated by the board of elections.
Only a handful of counties have finished counting provisional ballots and overseas absentee ballots can continue to be counted until 10 days after the election.
Is Andrew Gillum’s concession legally binding?
Gillum conceded his race in a tearful speech Tuesday, but Nelson did not. In 2000, Al Gore conceded to George W. Bush, but it didn’t halt the automatic recount when the margin was .03 percent.
The speeches are not legally binding and are simply a courtesy gesture to respecting the vote and democratic process.
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Voters faced 12 constitutional amendment proposals on the ballot. Did they vote yes or no? Here are the Election Day results for the 12 amendments. JENNIFER SANGALANG/FLORIDA TODAY
Andrew Gillum, Ron DeSantis governor’s race appears headed to a recount
Andrew Gillum delivers his concession speech after losing a close race to governor-elect Ron DeSantis. Tallahassee Democrat
Welcome to Florida where politics is more than a distraction, it’s a way of life
It appears that Florida will recount the ballots for the 2018 gubernatorial election between Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and Ron DeSantis. The latest unofficial returns put DeSantis up by fewer than a half percentage point – a lead of 38,515 votes out of more than 8 million votes cast.
Wednesday night with tens of thousands of ballots not yet counted, Gillum tweeted: “I’m looking forward to seeing every vote counted.”
April Ryan, a White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks, reported that sources with Gillum’s camp said the DeSantis’ lead was down to 15,000.
Top Gillum adviser Kevin Cate noted Republican nominee Ron DeSantis’ lead had fallen within 0.08 percent of the legally required machine recount.
During a morning conference call with supervisors of election, Secretary of State Ken Detzner told them to prepare for a statewide recount and worldwide media scrutiny.
“The recounts will be nationally watched … (we’re) under a microscope,” said Detzner as reported by the Tampa Bay Times.
Broward election officials said to expect their first unofficial results by 1:00 p.m. Friday.
Keep checking Tallahassee.com for updates.