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Counties recount votes in three tight races

Posted: 8:06 AM, Nov 12, 2018
Updated: 2018-11-12 13:19:30Z

Election workers across the state are trying to beat a Thursday deadline to recount every vote. The state ordered a machine recount for three big midterm races.
 
As of Monday morning, fewer than 13,000 votes separate Governor Rick Scott and Senator Bill Nelson in the Senate race.
 
In the state's agriculture commissioner race, about 5,000 votes separate Nikki Fried and Matt Caldwell.
 
As for the Governor’s race, fewer than 34,000 votes separate Don DeSantis and Andrew Gillum.
 
Election officials in Charlotte, Lee and Collier counties said they will work through the Veteran's Day holiday and right now, it’s all hands-on deck. That means every employee will work on this machine recount.
 
First, they will test voting machines to make sure they are good to go, and if they are, then workers will start rescanning ballots.
 
More than 157,000 people voted in Collier County. Lee County had about double the size. They started the recount yesterday and will work 16 hour shifts until they get the recount done.
 
“Every ballot is in play,” said Lee County Supervisor of Elections, Tommy Doyle. “292,000 ballots that have to be rerun in a tabulator and that’s a massive undertaking.”
 
Every county must send the recount results to the state by Thursday afternoon at 3. Election officials say they will do what it takes to meet the deadline and in some counties; that means workers will run the machines 24 hours a day.
 
If this comes down to a manual recount, the process will take even longer. If the margin of victory is below 0.25%, then the state can order a manual recount, meaning every single vote will have to be counted by hand. Right now, both races are below that margin.

Doyle said a manual recount would take a long time.
 
 “We’ll have teams reviewing the ballots,” said Doyle. “These teams would be made up of two people of opposite parties.”
 
Doyle said results from a manual recount would have to be submitted by Sunday. And the state would confirm the results and announce the winners Tuesday, Nov. 20, if it comes down to a manual recount.