An unprecedented statewide hand recount is now under way in the Sunshine State, further extending a muddled, high stakes battle over every last vote in Florida’s crucial U.S. Senate race.
But, barring a legal challenge, the race for governor is over.
Following a five-day machine recount of the more than 8.3 million votes cast in the Nov. 6 election, Secretary of State Ken Detzner ordered hand recounts Thursday afternoon in the U.S. Senate race between incumbent Bill Nelson and Gov. Rick Scott, and also the race for agriculture commissioner between Nicole “Nikki” Fried and Matt Caldwell. The race for governor, which also went through a machi
ne recount, was outside the margins that trigger a manual recount as new tallies came in, making Republican former congressman Ron DeSantis the governor-elect a full nine days after Democrat Andrew Gillum first conceded.
“I remain humbled by your support and the great honor the people of Florida have shown me as I prepare to serve as your next governor,” DeSantis said in a statement.
Gillum, who explicitly revoked his election night concession Saturday as a machine recount began, did not re-concede Thursday, if there is such a thing.
But DeSantis said the campaign must end and “give way to governing and bringing people together to secure Florida’s future.”
Detzner’s manual recount order gives canvassing boards in the state’s 67 counties three hectic days to pore over thousands of ballots that were rejected by machines because of “overvotes” — when a voter appears to have chosen more than one candidate in a race — or “undervotes,” in which a voter appears to have skipped a race altogether. With the help of state guidelines, the canvassing boards, which are allowed to enlist the help of volunteers, will try to determine how these voters intended to vote.
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