• Florida election: How would a recount work? Where could additional ballots come from?

    By: Christopher Heath , Kevin Williams , Shannon Butler


    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Three Florida races could be headed for a recount.

    In the Senate race, only about 17,000 votes separate Gov. Rick Scott, R-Fla. from Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla. as of Thursday evening – a margin of 0.18 percent. The margin in the race for governor is shrinking as well, with less than 40,000 votes separating Republican Ron DeSantis and Democrat Andrew Gillum. 


    The race for Florida commissioner of agriculture is also too close to call, and getting even closer. The race flipped Thursday afternoon, putting Democrat Nikki Fried ahead of Republican Matt Caldwell by just 564 votes.

    Crews spent the day Thursday making sure every provisional ballot was counted. People with a provisional ballot had until 5 p.m. Thursday to submit them to their county elections office. Seminole County alone had hundreds of provisional ballots.

    Thursday night, Broward and Palm Beach counties were still counting vote-by-mail ballots. Broward County was still counting Election Day ballots as well.

    Who can call for a recount?

    Only Florida's Secretary of State can give a recount the green light. It is not enough for a candidate to request one.

    What happens next?

    County elections offices have until Saturday to get their unofficial totals submitted. If the Senate race is still tighter than 0.5 percent, the state can order a machine recount. Those results would be due a week from Thursday.

    For the Senate race, if the recount comes back and Rick Scott’s advantage is greater than 0.5 percent, the results would most likely be certified.

    If those results are tighter than 0.25 percent, there will be a recount by hand. Those results wouldn't be official until Nov. 18.

    And just like that 2000 election, all this retallying plays out in public view.

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