Philip Levine is officially Miami Beach’s next mayor.
In the end, it took an automatic recount to confirm that Levine had won his first run for elected office — without the need for a runoff. He bested a sitting commissioner and a former comedian.
“I thank you from the bottom of my heart for this victory, which we achieved together,” Levine said, according to a press release.
Election results had been uncertain because Levine fell just short of avoiding an automatic recount after precincts closed Tuesday. It wasn’t even clear a recount would be required, until the county’s canvassing board met Friday. That’s because Levine needed just five more votes to avoid a recount, and election day results did not include provisional ballots.
Provisional ballots are cast by voters who can’t prove their eligibility on election day. They are given two days to prove they can indeed vote, and the canvassing board then decides whether to accept their ballots.
There were 14 provisional ballots cast in Miami Beach. The canvassing board ultimately accepted six of them, bringing Levine up to 50.49 percent of the vote. Under state law, he needed at least 50.5 to avoid a recount, which took a little less than four hours on Friday.