Florida Officials Order Vote Recounts in Three Races

Colin Fredericson
By Colin Fredericson
November 10, 2018Politics

Florida will begin a recount of votes in three races from the Nov. 6 elections.

The Florida secretary of state ordered the recount due to close results in races for the governor, senator, and agriculture commissioner, Fox News reported. The Senate and gubernatorial races results fall within the legal requirements for a recount. The other recount stems from the race for Florida’s agriculture commissioner.

A mandatory machine recount is issued if the differences in votes is less than 0.5 percent. If less than 0.25 percent, a mandatory hand recount is issued.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum conceded the election to Republican Ron DeSantis on election night, but as more votes were counted and the gap in votes started to close, Gillum withdrew his concession via Twitter.

“I am replacing my earlier concession with an unapologetic and uncompromised call to count every vote,” he wrote.

By the afternoon of Nov. 10, Santis’s lead shrank to 0.41 percent. Republican Rick Scott also had the lead over Democrat Bill Nelson in the race for Senate, but that lead shrunk to 0.15 percent.

The shrinking leads in these key races caught the attention of President Trump.

“Trying to STEAL two big elections in Florida! We are watching closely!” Trump wrote on Twitter.

Part of the controversy stems from the handling of votes in Florida’s Broward and Palm counties. Broward Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes admitted that more than a dozen rejected ballots were mixed in with over 200 valid ones.

“The ballots cannot be identified,” said Snipes, via the Miami Herald.

Previous Election Mishaps in Florida

Florida counties became infamous for their mishandling of votes during the 2000 presidential election, when George W. Bush defeated Al Gore for the presidency.

But even as recently as a 2016 election, Broward County officials were accused of mishandling the opening of absentee ballots. Republicans sued the next year.

“Law Enforcement is looking into another big corruption scandal having to do with Election Fraud in #Broward and Palm Beach. Florida voted for Rick Scott!” Trump wrote on Twitter, on Nov. 8.

“For everyone concerned about ‘election meddling,’ Broward County seems to be full of it. And for those worried about voter suppression, that’s taking place in liberal Broward County, too. The will of the people is being subverted by Snipes’ illegal practices and sadly, the fate of Florida hangs in the balance of Brenda Snipes’ circus,” wrote Richard DeNapoli, GOP State Committeeman from Broward County, via a piece for the Washington Examiner.

Broward is Florida’s second most populous county and has more than 1.9 million residents.

“Rick Scott was up by 50,000+ votes on Election Day, now they “found” many votes and he is only up 15,000 votes. ‘The Broward Effect.’ How come they never find Republican votes?” President Trump wrote on Twitter.

The Miami Herald wrote that Broward County has been a source of frustration for voters from both parties. Out-of-state voters have complained of not receiving absentee ballots and leveled accusations of voter disenfranchisement against Snipes’s office.

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