DORAL, Fla. (AP/WSVN) — Miami-Dade County elections officials say they’ve started recounting ballots from Tuesday’s election.
Officials from the county’s elections office confirmed Saturday evening that they’ve started a machine recount, which means they will load paper ballots into scanning machines. This process could take days, considering there were some 800,000 ballots cast.
The recount drama has forced the team to spend the weekend in a room at the Miami-Dade County Elections Department in Doral, putting each ballot, one by one, into nine high-speed machines that will end up counting more than 813,000 votes.
Meanwhile, staffers at the Broward Supervisor of Elections Office in Lauderhill are in recess until 7 a.m. on Sunday. Their ballot recount is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m.
The unofficial results show that Republican former U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis led Democratic Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum by less than 0.5 percentage points, which will require a machine recount of ballots.
In Miami-Dade, DeSantis had 311,762 votes, and Gillum was ahead with 479,041 votes. Both candidates have addressed the ballot debacle.
“I’ve got to imagine that if the shoe were on the other foot of my opponents, not one of them would seek a different outcome, not one of them would stand in the way of counting every vote,” said Gillum.
Meanwhile, DeSantis is moving forward with preparations to assume gubernatorial duties.
“Those results are clear and unambiguous, just as they were on election night, and I am honored by the trust Floridians have to serve as your next governor,” he said.
In the Senate race, Republican Gov. Rick Scott’s lead over Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson is less than 0.25 percentage points, which will require a hand recount of ballots from tabulation machines that couldn’t determine which candidate got the vote.
In Miami-Dade, Nelson is leading with 485,195 votes, over Scott’s 316,014 votes.
The governor took to Twitter on Saturday to react to the recount process.
Speaking with 7News on the phone, Nelson’s attorney, Marc Elias, spoke on the senator’s behalf.
“I am more sure than ever that when the process is completed, and all the lawful votes are counted, and counted accurately, that Senator Nelson will be returning to Washington, D.C. for another term,” he said,
The Florida secretary of state earlier Saturday ordered the recounts in the U.S. Senate and governor races, an unprecedented review of two major races in the state that took five weeks to decide the 2000 presidential election.
Nov. 15 at 3 p.m. is the deadline for each county to submit vote counts to the state.
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