Florida now likely to face three ballot recounts as statewide races tighten

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP/WSVN) — Democrat Andrew Gillum’s campaign said Thursday that it’s prepared for a possible recount in the Florida governor’s race that he conceded to Republican Ron DeSantis on Tuesday night.

At the same time, the U.S. Senate race between Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson and Republican Gov. Rick Scott remained too close to call, and Nelson’s elections lawyer predicted it would be a “jump ball” as it became more likely there would be a recount in that race.

Gillum’s campaign said it’s monitoring the situation with an elections lawyer and preparing for a possible state-mandated recount.

“On Tuesday night, the Gillum for Governor campaign operated with the best information available about the number of outstanding ballots left to count. Since that time, it has become clear there are many more uncounted ballots than was originally reported,” the campaign said. “We are committed to ensuring every single vote in Florida is counted.”

A spokesman for DeSantis wouldn’t comment on the situation. DeSantis continues to move forward as the presumptive governor. He appointed a transition team Wednesday.

Florida law requires a recount in races in which the winning margin is 0.5 percentage points or fewer, unless the trailing candidate says in writing that he or she doesn’t want a recount. Canvassing boards conduct the recount by running ballots through vote tabulation machines.

In elections with a winning margin of 0.25 percentage points or fewer, the state requires a hand recount of ballots where machines didn’t detect a vote.

As of Thursday at 9 p.m., DeSantis led Gillum by 36,222 votes out of nearly 8.2 million cast, or a difference of 0.44 percentage points.

In the Senate race, Scott clung to a 15,093-vote lead, or a difference of 0.18 percentage points.

In the state’s race for the next agriculture commissioner, Democrat Nikki Fried how now taken the lead over Republican Matt Caldwell. Fried now leads by just 470 votes as of Thursday afternoon, meaning this race will likely require a recount as well.

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